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Articles written by Sondra Ashton

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 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion    April 9, 2020 

Looking out my Backdoor: This time reminds me

It must have been the winter of ’65-’66. I was pregnant with Dee Dee, who was born in April. Harvey and I lived on the ranch south of Dodson. A mile-long dirt drive with three “farmer gates...

 
 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion    April 2, 2020

Looking out my Backdoor: How to survive and maintain sanity in the 'new normal'

Now that I gained your attention, I confess, I have not a clue. Neither to survival nor to sanity. I’m fishing for answers. I figured if I cast out a line, I might hook you and you could tell me!...

 

Looking out my Backdoor: Old dogs learn new tricks

How quickly we progressed from refusing hugs and handshakes, to isolating in voluntary quarantine. In the mornings when Leo came to work our gardens, he calls out, “Sondrita, are you alive....

 

Looking out my Backdoor: We never know what the day might bring!

It’s probably been centuries since our world has been so united in purpose. We are concerned — concerned for our own health, our families, our neighbors, concerned for those around the other side...

 

Looking out my Backdoor: Dancing to CCR in Español at the Old Folk's Home

My friends, who shall remain anonymous, sent me money to donate for them to a good cause of my choice here in Etzatlan. These good folks have visited me several times. They like my little chosen...

 
 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion    March 5, 2020

Looking out my Backdoor: Involuntary system purge

Day three with an unwanted, invasive, intimate companion — the flu. So weak, I feel like a newborn kitten without a mama. While alternative health methods have a long and checkered history of...

 

Looking out my Backdoor: The value of darning socks

Late in the day, I read a profound passage in a Swedish mystery novel. The daughter asked her father why life seems so much harder in these modern times. His answer was that we no longer darn socks....

 

Looking out my Backdoor: Taking back my life, like killing snakes

I am soooo bad. The “like killing snakes” part is hard for me. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve been told, “Slow down. You are going at that job (whatever it is) like killing snakes....

 

Looking out my Backdoor: Turtle introspections

One day Bonnie said to me, “Sondra, you are a turtle. When in a group, you tuck your head inside your shell, listen and watch.” Ever since then, I cannot look in the mirror without seeing my...

 

Looking out my Backdoor: Musings, observations, and outright guesses

I could have said “outright lies” but I have no blessed idea how I am going to fill this page so “guesses” seemed the more appropriate word. Most weeks I know exactly what I want to say. It...

 

Looking out my Backdoor: The wiley side-hill gougers

My first husband was quite the — uh — storyteller. Some of you knew Harvey and can verify my statement. Some of his stories even had elements of truth. Others were pure fabrication, even when...

 

Looking out my Backdoor: Ingenuity and telephones

It could have exploded. Ben woke up and automatically reached for his phone. The auto reach; it is a generational thing. The phone was so hot it burned his hand. He jerked the plug from the phone and...

 

Looking out my Backdoor: Looking out my Backdoor: Argentine Ants

The other day my son Ben, here in Etzatlan to help me in recovery, showed me a video he and his daughter Lexi had enjoyed. The animated video by a German scientist with an unpronouncable name...

 

Looking out my Backdoor: Sondra's House of Ill Repute

Surgery successful — Hooray! Hooray! I have a repaired hip. My legs are both the same length again. I promise not to show you the scars. The news on the other end of that spectrum is that I will be...

 

Looking out my Backdoor: An update on Sondra's surgery, and some poems

I’m writing to you today from warm and sunny Glendive. Mom had her hip repair surgery on Thursday, the 26th. Merry Christmas! The post from her original hip replacement had slipped down into the...

 

Looking out my Backdoor: Whims and wing-dings

December comes to a close with Christmas. Whether one believes the Birth of the Christ Child to be myth or metaphor, history or hysteria, is of no matter. My belief makes it neither one nor another....

 

Looking out my Backdoor: Breakfast at Calano's

Lani and I sneaked off to breakfast at Calano’s this Sunday morning. It is something we do now and then. We don’t go often, usually, like today, on a whim. If you don’t ride whims, you are...

 

Looking out my backdoor: Parsing the Fear

On a Saturday I saw an orthopedic specialist. He said, “I can fix your hip and leg.” I’m kind of backward when it comes to medical issues. I didn’t go to him for a fix. I went for a referral...

 

Looking out my Backdoor - Sometimes the hard stuff …

I’ll dither around before I talk about that which I need to talk. Because that is the way I am. Look the other way. Put my head in a bucket of sand. Pretend I don’t need you. In truth, it’s...

 

Looking out my Backdoor: Stranded without phone and internet

Good afternoon, this is not Sondra. After calling my mom for several days, and impatiently wondering where she has gotten up to without alerting me to her travels, I found out her phone and internet...

 

Looking out my Backdoor: The rain in Spain(ish) and assorted nonsense

Rain, “lluvia” in Español, pinging on my Mexican tile roof, sounds like the clatter of typewriter keys hitting the platen. Do you remember that rapidly rattling noise? Woe is me. These old bones...

 

Looking out my Backdoor: My 'almost-Mexican' fiesta

This was not my idea, to have a party. It was sloppily put together. Any party, even pot luck, takes a lot of work. I didn't really want to do it. I was tired and in pain from the long bus ride. Bah...

 

Looking out my Backdoor: Adept in the ways of sloth

Nobody told us. Well, nobody told me. I’m from a family of workers, obsessive workers, one might say. In my family, sloth is a mere breath removed from slovenly and slatternly. Nobody ever said...

 

Looking out my Backdoor: Beware the devious AI toothbrush

“This is the way we brush our teeth, brush our teeth, brush our teeth. This is the way we brush our teeth, so early in the morning.” News headlines to nursery rhymes, that’s me. When I read...

 

Looking out my Backdoor: Phase of moon, juxtaposition of planets?

Ever have a day when everything you touch turns to mud? For one thing, it is raining. Tropical Storm Priscilla hovers off the coast in a direct line up and over the mountains to the west. Not far in...

 

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