Articles written by Sondra Ashton

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 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion    October 20, 2016

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...

 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion    October 13, 2016

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...

 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion    September 22, 2016

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... Full story

 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion    September 15, 2016

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,... Full story

 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion    September 1, 2016

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...

 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion    August 18, 2016

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...

 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion    August 11, 2016

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....

 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion    August 4, 2016

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,...

 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion    April 28, 2016

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...

 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion    April 21, 2016

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...

 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion    April 14, 2016

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...

 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion    March 31, 2016

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...

 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion    March 24, 2016

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...

 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion    March 17, 2016

Looking Out My Back Door: Those evil twins, despond and despair

When I first visited Lani in Etzatlan, she made me welcome, but came close to threats, bribery and mayhem to convince me I should move to her town. Well, Heckle and Jeckle, I had been in Mazatlan...

 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion    March 3, 2016

Looking Out My Backdoor: Quirks and vagaries of life and family

When I was a child growing up in Indiana, I loved Christmas for one reason: The mailman delivered the annual box of clothes sent by Aunt Ann, practically new hand-me-downs from cousin Nancie, a year...

 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion    February 25, 2016

Looking Out My Back Door: All I want to be is a simple wooden cross

Silly childhood ditties often carry substantial wisdom. Consider “Row, row, row your boat.” On second thought, I’ll come back to that in a moment. First I announced that I bought a finely...

 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion    February 5, 2016

Looking Out My Back Door: The good Lord willin' and the creek don't rise

Ai-yi-yi, but I had a difficult day. My theory is that misery is contagious. My neighbor Ted from Edmonton was griping about the rock bottom value of the Canadian dollar, which has been on a steady...


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