Murdo Girl…How long is this drive?

I think about Mom all the time, but even more so between her birthday on May 6th and Mother’s Day. I should write things down as I think of them. Actually, from what I have seen, all I would have to do is contact Facebook. It seems to me, they know my every thought. The other day, I “thought” about buying some new washable rugs. Later that same day, there was an ad on my reel… or whatever you call it. It was a video of a dog pooping on a variety of washable rugs. If you’re on facebook, here is the link. The rugs are actually kind of neat looking.

I’m not afraid of what Facebook knows, but if they’re getting into my head, they should know it’s not safe…


Anyway, back to Mom. After they sold the Chalet Motel, Mom and Gus enjoyed traveling and RVing. Mom loved the road trips. They pulled a travel trailer behind their car, so Mom would give the front seat to their dog, Trouble, and she would stretch out on the back seat and sleep or just lounge.

1-Loretta Gustafson's Life in Photos 017-001

Mom and Gus at Ella’s

We loved it when they came to Wyoming and stayed near us for several months at a time. Gus worked construction and Mom worked at the Rock Pile Museum. She loved it! When they settled in for good, they ended up moving closer to Billy and his family. Mom said they weren’t going to follow me around anymore. She had to get a new address book because she ran out of space for all of our moves.

Later on, Mom started having back problems and didn’t particularly enjoy spending much time in the car. I remember one of the times I visited them. Billy picked us up and drove us all to his house. By then, Mom had started having a few memory problems. She had been to Billy and Liz’s home many times, but with her memory failing her, she began to ask the same question each time they went anywhere.

“How long is this drive?”

I started to speak up and tell her it was an hour or more depending on the traffic, but Billy and Gus quickly butted in.

“It takes twenty minutes,” Billy said.

“Twenty minutes, just like always,” Gus threw in.

I still didn’t get it. Somehow, I finally understood what they were doing before I completely blew it. I doubt she would have taken my word for it, anyway. She asked the same question on the way back. I quickly reassured her it was only a twenty minute drive. She had remained perfectly happy with that answer, before. She hadn’t complained the whole hour it had taken us to get there, however, she verified my answer with Billy and Gus before she settled back for the short twenty minute drive back. About forty-five minutes into it, I should have asked Billy, “How many more miles??”


(We’ve heard this story a million times. Mary is getting to the age where she doesn’t forget to remember, but she remembers to forget.)


For several years, most of Mom’s pictures were of the left side of her face. She asked her friend, Audrey, which was her best side and that was the only side she turned to the camera. It didn’t really matter as the Sandersons never look towards the camera, anyway. I think Andrea is the only one who goofed up in this picture taken at Mom’s sister, Ella’s house. Uh oh, I just noticed Valerie looked at the camera, too.


(Elna Miller, Andrea Sheehan, Stephanie Miller-Davis, Valerie Halla, Ella Leckey, Loretta Gustafson, and Sugar Nyquist Parker).

When Mom called me, she would ask me all kinds of questions, but she would always preface her need to know with, “Don’t tell me anything bad.” She said she couldn’t handle bad news. I understand. What you don’t know can’t hurt you. It’s better to be told bad things after it’s all over and everything has turned out all right. It might be another Sanderson thing. Cousin Lav told me her dad used to say, “If Ella doesn’t have anything to worry about, she worries about not worrying.”

So, everyone, honor your mothers, your grandmothers, and their grandmothers, tomorrow. Go all the way back to the beginning of time. If it weren’t for that long line of mothers, none of us would be here. Same with the dads, but we’ll get into that next month.


4 thoughts on “Murdo Girl…How long is this drive?

  1. sanjuan831 May 12, 2019 / 7:39 pm

    I finally finished reading this after getting interrupted by a call from MG. I honestly could read this over and over! It’s wonderful hearing these stories and memories about your Mom and family. That dog sure had to go
    A lot!


  2. countrygirl57 May 11, 2019 / 8:07 pm

    As always, the greatest story for the occasion! What a wonderful gift you have! Love you 💝💕💗💞❤️🥰💝😘

    Sent from my iPhone



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