Articles written by Sondra Ashton

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 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...

 

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...

 

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