Articles written by Sondra Ashton

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Looking Out My Backdoor: Times when you wonder

Do you ever have times when you wonder who you are? I mean, you might be sitting under the cottonwood tree, perfectly content one moment; the next moment you feel like the essence of you is outside...

 

Looking out my Backdoor: The seven deadly sins?

“Can you name the seven deadly sins?” she asked. I lay on Bonnie’s table, my body full of acupuncture needles. “I hope there is no wrong answer,” I countered, considering my vulnerable...

 

Looking out my Backdoor: Tequila lifts her skirts

Sunshine! After a solid week of all-day, all-night rain, the sun shines. Tropical Storm Lidia whooshed unrelenting rainclouds our way before veering off with a huff into the Pacific, energy dissipated...

 

Looking out my Backdoor: It's a 'fur' piece

From there to here. I’m not sure what sparked my curiosity, but from Havre in Montana to Etzatlan in Jalisco, Mexico, the distance is 2449.9 miles. That mileage does not take into consideration any...

 

Looking out my Backdoor: Bridges

What a precious two weeks in Poulsbo, Washington, while I stayed with my son, Ben. Ben and I had always been close; we’d weathered some tough early years together. Ben, at 35, a responsible family m...

 

Looking out my Backdoor: Felled by A blackberry bramble

I certainly never expected to spend an afternoon in the emergency room of the local hospital on my holiday with my son and granddaughter. Just an innocent scratch, I tried to tell myself. Lexi and I,...

 

Looking out my Backdoor: Culture shock, shock, shock

“Mom, I keep telling you. You’ve gone native.” After spending all but a few weeks of the last four years in Mexico, immersed in a different life, what is one to expect? My first intimation that...

 

The eager, reluctant traveler

My suitcase perches, mouth open, on my sofa, poised to swallow piles of clothing and jumbles of travel essentials: toiletries, Kindle, laptop, gifts. Mine is not a planned trip. The “plan” was for...

 
 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion    July 27, 2017

Ants in my pants and other observations

Ants, those little buggers, are a constant, year-round plague. Mosquitoes don’t irritate me nearly as much. I don’t disdain the power of the mosquito, dastardly carrier of dread diseases, to...

 
 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion    July 20, 2017

Looking out my Backdoor: Morning has broken

“Like the first morning.” Scrub oaks, verdant from recent rains, reached out branches and clutched passing clouds onto high mountaintops, puffy sombreros heavy with moisture. Mountains held onto...

 
 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion    July 13, 2017

Looking out my Backdoor: Riding along in my automobile

Have you ever had a day when you feel unutterably sad for no earthly reason except that you are human? On my patio, on this day when my thermometer registers a mid-afternoon temperature in the low...

 
 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion    July 6, 2017

Looking out my Backdoor: Field of dreams with Converse

“I love my night life.” “You don’t have a night life,” my cousin Nancie, in Mexico for a three-week vacation in her house across the road from mine, countered. “You’re in bed when the...

 
 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion    June 29, 2017

Looking out my Backdoor: 'Green, green, it's green they say …'

For the past three weeks it has, indeed, been greener on the far side of the hills surrounding our parched valley. Rains come in June, the local people tell me. And the rains surrounded us, in...

 
 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion    June 22, 2017

Looking out my Backdoor: I think I'll write a self-help book

Well, why not? Back in the day, I devoured self-help books. Back in the early 1980s when my life was shattered like a jigsaw puzzle with missing pieces, in an attempt to put myself back together, I...

 
 By Sondra Ashton    Local    June 15, 2017

Looking out my Backdoor: Love in the treetops

A friend, a man who has been single for a number of years, wrote to say that he’s been feeling down in the mullygrubs. He said he’s probably just feeling lonesome. He’s considering...

 
 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion    June 8, 2017

Looking out my back door: Human nature being what it is …

I hate physical therapy. Writing with a computer means you’ll give me no sympathy. If we were talking face-to-face, I’d be able to mumble, “It’s my own fault. I quit too soon. It’s been...

 
 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion    June 1, 2017

Looking out my Backdoor: Getting in touch with my inner farmer

Two weeks ago I had declared, “New window glass all around; new patio roof; I love it all. These are my final projects. My home is complete. My garden is full and lush. No more projects!” This...

 
 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion    May 25, 2017

Looking out my Backdoor: Days of Our Lives: Updated episode

Tell me, what is all the foo-foo-rah over being fit and healthy? I have friends who abstained from meat (?Not eat meat?), ran marathons, contorted themselves into pretzels with an hour of daily yoga,...

 
 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion    May 19, 2017

Looking out my Backdoor: Four women on the loose in Guadalajara

I didn’t want to go. I was still recovering from burning the soles of my feet on the hot sands of Mazatlan. The plan was for Lani, Kathy, Crin and me to go to Tonola for the tianguis, the huge...

 
 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion    May 11, 2017

Looking out my Backdoor: The ups and downs of the elevated life

For years, I’ve been privileged to be Kathy’s guest, generally on the 24th floor of the El Moro Tower, fronting the Great Pacific Ocean, in Mazatlan. When we were young and foolish, we might, and...

 
 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion    May 4, 2017

Looking Out my Backdoor - Sunshine on the beach; one dark cloud in the sky

I always like being back in Mazatlan, the town I visited year after year, the town where I lived nearly three years. Familiar places, familiar people, old friends. A sadness, a worry, clouds my...

 

Looking Out my Backdoor - On the bus again, just can't wait to get on the bus again

With appropriate apologies to Willie Nelson, I’ll soon be “making music with my friends.” We all know that I haven’t a musical molecule in my body, much as I love a wide variety of music. But...

 

Looking Out my Backdoor - All in life is not sweet

John and Carol walked over for Qi Gong on my patio. It’s how we start our day. “How are you this morning?” “Fine, all things considered.” My stock answer when I’m not feeling all that...

 

Looking Out my Backdoor - Gifts: A retrospective

This morning when I opened my eyes, I saw a bird sitting on the roof of the bodega outside my bedroom window — a beautiful yellow-headed, yellow-breasted, shrill-voiced gray bird with a long curved...

 

Oh, dear, what can the matter be

This morning at Qi Gong, a practice which requires focus, every bird in the tree, wisp of cloud, skittering lizard robbed my attention. Where’s my focus? I have a bad case, not fatal, of “I want...

 

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