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Grandma, Your Busted!

Updated on August 29, 2009

For those of you that followed the first Hub (It's Free---Take it!) and asked for more of my mothers everyday antics. Thanks--- I will continue. As you can tell our house never lacked for that thing called laughter. We just called her Gram.

Now the kids are raised and gone on their own and you might think that things would have became a bit calmer---Oh no! Also keep in mind that these antics were as she so adeptly put it (just common sense.) At least it was to her.

Gram was blessed with not a green thumb but all ten fingers were green. We had a small hot-house in the back yard and she raised mostly begonias. She also spoke in garden clubs through out the area on this subject. At the same time she found time to write and publish a small magazine called "Ozark Gardens," She did not believe that anyone should sit and do nothing.

The Driving Incident:

We were still living in Anaheim California and if you have ever been in there and experienced driving the freeways you will understand.  Although this was a time when they were not so crowded as they are now.  I was making my way home and it was not at rush hour and traffic was moving along at a fairly fast pace when suddenly there seemed to be a big jam up of traffic ahead.  For the next thirty minutes we inched our way along.  Knowing that there must have been some sort of bad accident.  Finally as I approached this obstacle that everyone seemed to be honking their horn at and gesturing certain fingers and fists at, I recognized grams car.  Yes, you could see her little white head barely sticking above the steering wheel and then she was sitting on a pillow.  When you are only five-foot-two you need all the help you can get, I guess.

I honked the horn repeatedly trying to get her attention but I received the same signal that everyone else did.  She kept one hand on the steering wheel and her eyes straight ahead.  The other hand was daintily signaling for everyone to just simply go around.  I would estimate that her speedometer was registering ---possibly 22 miles per hr.

It was sometime later when she walked in the door waving a pink piece of paper and mumbling---something?  Yes gram had gotten ticket for impeding traffic and driving on an expired licence.  As much as I hated to take that source of independence away from her I knew it was time.

Have you ever dreamed about building your own home in some secluded place where you could leave the rat-race behind?  We had purchased some acreage some time before in the Anza-Borrego desert with that purpose in mind.  For those of you that are not familiar with this location, it is located on the eastern side of San Diego county in California.  It ranges from high desert to the low bad-lands.  The valley is surrounded by mountains and then levels out into a spectacular view.  The area is best known for its geothermal heated springs.  Most people that pass through never slow down to see its real beauty.  This was our get-away.

 Grandma decided that she wanted to move out to the desert place before the house was built, because being just week-end builders it was going to take a long time.  Of course the most important item in the desert is water and we had two deep well, one was hot (Agua Caliente) and one was cold.  this property had electricity but there was no phone service at this time.

Finally I gave into her wish to stay out there alone, after all we would be there every week-end and how much trouble could she get into way out there?  The nearest neighbor was about a mile away.  Beside she assured me she had her 4-10 shotgun and a pistol, you know for rattle snakes and such!

There was also a old adobe building that the roof had caved in on which she wanted to use because she was dead set on taking some of her plants with her. We fixed the roof by just installing some old windows. This gave the lights for the plants, plus she would use florescent lights for continues growth. She had big plans for starting vegetable plants and putting in a garden. How she was going to keep the jack-rabbits out of it, I did not ask?

Now if you have ever been out away from all the bright lights and only with the magnificent stars above you.  You will  know what I mean. A very small light can be seen from a great distance. Grandma's plant lights were like a beacon shining straight up into the dark night and it wasn't long before we had a visit from the local sheriff. It seems that someone way down the valley had put the word out that maybe grandma was growing illegal plants. The sheriff examined every tomato and pepper plant very carefully and informed her that he would be back periodically to check---her plants.

Also on this property was an old house trailer that someone had lived in and they had built a tin roof over it. This could not be see from the two-lane high-way that ran in front of the property. This was grandma's hid-out and she loved it. A shack in the desert was her private piece of the world.


We all enjoyed the peace and total silence that comes after you have witnessed a spectacular sun set.  There was an out-side shower that really felt good on a 110 degree day and there was also a small hot water tank for the washing machine, this all sat out side under that roof.  So you see all the essentials were there in a haphazard way.

Now in the desert there are many critters that exist and have adapted to all kinds of surroundings.  One is a kangaroo rat.  They usually build nest in the base of century plants but one decided that under the flooring of grams trailer would be a better place.  She complained complained for weeks about those rats that were keeping her awake and she was going to put a stop to it!  I should have paid more attention to that threat.

Kangaroo Rat
Kangaroo Rat

The next week-end she told me that something was wrong with the hot-water tank, it just didn't seem to be working. On closer examination I found that there were numerous holes in it and only on one side and the same thing appeared on the washer. The holes penetrated inward---this was strange?

It seems that grandma had taken her 4-10 shotgun and aimed it under the trailer to where she thought that Kangaroo rat was setting up a permanent home and pulled the trigger and now she could finally get some sleep.

Again grandma is BUSTED, her 4-10 shotgun is no longer in her reach and we have a new hot water tank and washer.



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    • Ginn Navarre profile imageAUTHOR

      Ginn Navarre 

      9 years ago

      Donotfear, yes as I said in my many hubs about her---"It was not easy raising Grandma" but she left us so many LAUGHABLE MEMORIES to cherish for ever.

    • donotfear profile image

      Annette Thomas 

      9 years ago from Northeast Texas

      Oh my! This was really fun to read. I knew somebody just like her and it's inspired me to write about her. Thanks! Great story!

    • Ginn Navarre profile imageAUTHOR

      Ginn Navarre 

      10 years ago

      Yes Jennifer, she was a funny Grandma and she did it all her way.

    • Jennifer Bhala profile image

      Jennifer Bhala 

      10 years ago from Upstate New York

      Funny, until you have no more hot water and can't wash your clothes.

    • Ginn Navarre profile imageAUTHOR

      Ginn Navarre 

      10 years ago

      Chrissy thanks, I think that the world that we live in today needs some of the laughter that Granny gave us and I plan on bringing more of her life for others to enjoy.

    • Chrissy Says... profile image

      Chrissy Says... 

      10 years ago from Wenatchee, WA

      Oh my, I absolutely LOVE this hub! I'm sad to report that none of my relatives to date have been quite this, shall I say, charismatic. Her life sounds like it would be fit for a comic strip or birthday card...Haha, everyone loves a gun-slingin' Granny, right? :-) She's funny without even trying to be...Ironic humor is a beautiful, beautiful thing and I thank you for sharing!

    • Ginn Navarre profile imageAUTHOR

      Ginn Navarre 

      10 years ago

      Yes indeed there was never a dull moment. We could write a book on her life.

    • ryanobie profile image


      10 years ago from Washington, DC

      Great hub mom! I remember looking under the trailer and seeing the aftermath of all that. The rat was definitely a gonner! What gram lacked in aim, she made up for in gusto!

    • Ginn Navarre profile imageAUTHOR

      Ginn Navarre 

      10 years ago

      Dennis you know there will be a lot more, she was really something??

      Thanks ripplemaker, wow this is excicting and an honor.

      K@ri, thanks raising Gram was interesting and the memories are price-less.

    • k@ri profile image

      Kari Poulsen 

      10 years ago from Ohio

      LOL! She must have kept you all busy! I think I want to be like her when I grow up!

    • ripplemaker profile image

      Michelle Simtoco 

      10 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Hi Ginn, congratulations!!! This hub has been chosen to be one of the hubnuggets for this week. Let's skip and dance a jig for Grandma! :D

      Just click this link to see what this is all about.

      We invite you to vote and ask all your family and friends to vote too. :-) I enjoyed reading about your grandma. She looks quite good with a gun. tee hee Have fun hubnuggetting!!!

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      great hubs,always look forward to see whats next

    • Ginn Navarre profile imageAUTHOR

      Ginn Navarre 

      10 years ago

      Thanks Bill, the past taught me a lot.

    • bill komissaroff profile image

      bill komissaroff 

      10 years ago from Portland O

      Good stuff!

    • Ginn Navarre profile imageAUTHOR

      Ginn Navarre 

      10 years ago

      Thanks G-Ma, we were blessed with this colorful person that gave us 95 years of true events to share with others.

      laringo thanks, there will be more and it wasn't always easy RAISING GRANDMA, but there was an abundance of laughter which the world needs now.

    • laringo profile image


      10 years ago from From Berkeley, California.

      I love true family stories that come form the heart with all the fine little details. I want more!

    • G-Ma Johnson profile image

      Merle Ann Johnson 

      10 years ago from NW in the land of the Free

      Ginn...Nice to meet you and this sounds like a fun ride you will be taking us on...wonderful stories...G-Ma :O) Hugs & Peace

    • Ginn Navarre profile imageAUTHOR

      Ginn Navarre 

      10 years ago

      Hey brat, so thats who did that, I should have known. They just tore that building down so your words of wisdom are gone. Yes, Grandma would have been the only one that would have fit in there. I plan on writing about how she was used during the ww 2, in the wings of airplans to buck-rivets because she was the only one that fit. Your great grandma did it all but we are not allowed to tell it ALL. LOL

    • Ginn Navarre profile imageAUTHOR

      Ginn Navarre 

      10 years ago

      Thanks Patty, I also am enjoying this out-let to share some events in my life. These are some of the freedoms that some don't have today.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      I remember when she caught us (me and josh) writing graffiti between the garage and the building next to aunt jo and uncle carls house. I remember thinking that she was pretty observant for an "old lady" none of the other adults had any clue . I don't think any of the other adults there could have fit between the buildings like she could though LOL.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish MS 

      10 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      These stories are great and I really enjoy the photos. Really glad to have you on HubPages!

    • Ginn Navarre profile imageAUTHOR

      Ginn Navarre 

      10 years ago

      Thanks Cris, she only knew ONE way and she did it her WAY.

    • Cris A profile image

      Cris A 

      10 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      Thanks for sharing your Gram's stories, she is quite a lady alright! And the pictures say she's tough! :D

    • Ginn Navarre profile imageAUTHOR

      Ginn Navarre 

      10 years ago

      Teresa thanks, yes grandma did it---her way!

      Aya, Yes I think that the word INDEPENDENT was created for grandma.

      Jer, the great thing about her independent ways, was she thought it was (common sense.)

    • Jerilee Wei profile image

      Jerilee Wei 

      10 years ago from United States

      Another great hub mom, Gram's independent streak was a larger than she was.

    • Aya Katz profile image

      Aya Katz 

      10 years ago from The Ozarks

      Ginn Navarre, loved the stories and the pictures. Grandma was one independent woman!

    • Teresa McGurk profile image


      10 years ago from The Other Bangor

      Great stories -- and the photographs are excellent, too. I've never been to the desert, so your descriptions are wonderful, and I can kinda feel as if I was there. I'd love to have seen Grandma on the freeway. . . Thanks for writing these!


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