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Articles written by Sondra Ashton

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On hold-but-the world keeps turning

Thank you, Daughter, for writing my article last week. Rocking chair, indeed! Next time I’m incapacitated, I’ll ask my son to take my place. I didn’t break that many rules. New eyeballs! There...

 

Sleepless nights and rocky days

Three nights ago I couldn’t sleep. Rather than crawl out of bed, slump into a comfy chair and grab a good book, or even a boring book, something conducive to sleepiness, I chose to review every...

 

Looking out my backdoor

Last week Bonnie called the Rancho Esperanza residents together for the first meeting in years. Understandably, it is difficult to have a meeting when the casas are, for the most part empty. This...

 

Looking out my backdoor

Back in March, the first day I moved into my wee casita, a noise, like a 747 on the runway awaiting clearance for take-off, startled me into combat position. (It ain’t pretty.) Once my heart quit...

 

Looking Out My Backdoor: Maybe behind the bathroom door

I’ve lost my robe. I’m beside myself with anxiety. I didn’t realize it was gone. In fact, I have no idea exactly when I misplaced it. Surely, I couldn’t have thrown it away. I depend on that r...

 

Looking out my Backdoor: Meanwhile, back at the rancho

Those dratted leaf-cutter ants are at it again, drilling holes, raising mounds of pebbled dirt around their nests. Their chain-saw jaws can strip my hibiscus, roses, oleander and hydrangea in...

 

Looking Out My Backdoor: Cross your eyes and dot your teas

I like to write letters. I like to receive letters. It’s a lifelong habit for me. While I no longer have a mailbox, I do have an email account and a computer. While the pleasure is not even similar...

 

Looking Out My Backdoor: Churros in the plaza - snakes on the doorstep

My friends are back home in British Columbia. I signed up for three days of depression, lonely following our whirlwind of explorations and excitement. A vibrantly green lizard perches on my wall,...

 

Looking Out My Backdoor: Danger - enter at your own risk

Today, Kathy and her sister Crin fly into Guadalajara from Victoria, British Columbia. I’ve known Kathy for, I don’t know, maybe 15 years. When two friends recognize they are kindred spirits, who...

 

Looking Out My Backdoor: Straining tea leaves through my teeth

My cousin Nancie will board the plane for her home in Washington today. Three weeks wasn’t enough time for her to finish the long list of tasks she set herself in her new casa. But she painted and...

 

Looking Out My Backdoor: A-hit-me-over-the-head look

The workmen are finished. Thanks to daily rain my damaged lawn is repairing itself. No more mud and crud. My house is in order. Trees are planted. I’m weeding the neglected flower beds....

 

Looking Out My Back Door: Sorry, no story this week

My mind is a mess. Twenty-three days ago the men began work in my backyard, front yard, patio and, yes, even inside my house. Twenty-three days of mud and crud and cement dust, of men and tools and Me...

 
 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion    July 21, 2016

Looking Out My Back Door: Muck's a good thing - mud is just fine

And “the best things in life are dirty,” the gospel according to Ben Rumson (Lee Marvin) and Pardner (Clint Eastwood), words to live by from “Paint Your Wagon.” Amen. A lot of spiritual...

 
 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion    July 14, 2016

Looking Out My Back Door: Oh no, don't let the rain come down

The lyrics, “Ah, ha, oh, no, don’t let the rain come down, my roof’s got a hole in it and I might drown” woke me as once more waters pounded my roof and the lake of run-off lapped against the...

 
 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion    June 23, 2016

Looking Out My Back Door: 100 degrees of solitude

“So, Sondra, why aren’t you married?” Bonnie questions my back. There I am, lying unclothed on a bed, needles poking all over me, getting an acupuncture treatment for sciatica and related...

 
 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion    June 16, 2016

Looking Out My Back Door: When a crisis isn't a crisis

Back when people first began using e-books, I guess that is what one calls them, my daughter, Shea, said, “Mom, you are such a voracious reader. You should get one of these. You’d like it.”...

 
 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion    June 2, 2016

Looking Out My Back Door: Hard-headed woman finds treasure in backyard

Eureka. I’ve just discovered my backyard. That’s not to say I never knew I had a backyard. But I dismissed it. “Dismiss.” Hang onto that word. My first focus, of necessity, centered on my humb...

 
 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion    May 26, 2016

Looking Out My Back Door: Technology or inventiveness?

I treasure a postcard from Missoula in the early ’80s. The card pictures an earth-moving business in the background. In the foreground perches a stand from which the proprietor sells croissants. It...

 
 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion    May 5, 2016

Looking Out My Back Door: Trolling through the plaza Friday night

Last Friday the Casa de Cultura sponsored a Folklorico performance for the Etzatlan community. A stage dominated one corner of the square, with rows of folding chairs for the audience. Dance troups,...

 

Looklng Out My Backdoor: A few of those things we think we need

At last, I have a working sink in the house. No more carting all food preparation items plus dishes before and after meals out to the outdoor sink on the patio. Josue has finished my kitchen...

 

Looking Out My Back Door: Hacking back my jungle, just one plant at a time

I walked around my coffee bush, checking out the blossoms and emerging beans. Actually, although I lust after it, the bush belongs to the neighboring property, now sitting empty. It doesn’t sooth...

 

Looking Out My Back Door: Exactly when I wanted to forget

Some days, despite all the good things in my life, I wake up and would rather crawl back into bed and pull the quilt over my head. Pity party is another word for the feeling. Party, well, yes, party....

 
 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion    April 7, 2016

Looking Out My Back Door: Life among the elves in Etzatlan

I’ve always liked the story of the shoemaker and the elves. In the evening, before he retired, the old shoemaker cut the leather and prepared his work bench to stitch the shoes in the morning. In...

 

Looking Out My Back Door: A little paint covers a multitude of sins

Years ago, a builder said to me, “Paint covers a multitude of sins.” I didn’t need convincing. When I was a senior in high school, mere days before graduation and marriage, I rescued and...

 

Looking Out My Back Door: Starting over just one more time

“I need a wife,” Ellie wrote. I grinned. I don’t know how many times over the years I’ve been a single Mom and then later on, simply single, that I said those same words. We women keep an...

 

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