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Articles written by Sondra Ashton

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 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion    July 2, 2020

Looking out my Backdoor: Got myself in trouble

The week has been filled with emails sailing back and forth between myself and my friends in the States and in Canada. We each are settling into a way of living that might be our new norm for months,...

 
 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion    June 25, 2020

Looking out my Backdoor: Life in the slow lane

Life is such a mixed bag of tricks, isn’t it? In the morning we slide out of bed, make coffee, check the obits to see if we made headlines, put our two hands (some of us are greedy) in the bag and...

 
 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion    June 18, 2020

Looking out my Backdoor: Never a dullish moment

In quiet desperation, this morning I joined the ranks of those who cut their own hair. Using nail scissors. I do not recommend it. If anyone should ask, I’ll say my favorite hairdresser trimmed it...

 
 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion    June 11, 2020

Looking out my Backdoor: Wonders of my world

Outside my big front gate, the one used for truck delivery and such, a clump of lantana took root voluntarily. Lantana wears one of the world’s most beautiful flowers, like rings on its fingers,...

 
 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion    June 4, 2020

Looking out my backdoor: Looking for love in all the wrong places

He’s not feral. I assume the stranger is a him. He’s not a rack of bones. He yowled around beneath my bedroom windows three nights before I glimpsed him in his white coat with yellow patches....

 
 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion    May 28, 2020

Looking out my Backdoor: Back to the future?

One must make one’s own decision, must do what each figures is best for self and family and community. As for me and many of my friends, we choose to continue staying home, having no touchy-feely...

 
 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion    May 21, 2020

Looking out my Backdoor: When garbage day becomes an event

As soon as I heard the smoke-belching diesel truck rumble off the highway into the Rancho, I grabbed pruning shears and artfully poked around in a pot of lavender on the front patio. Well, I...

 
 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion    May 14, 2020

Looking out my Backdoor: If I could ruin my life differently

“I want to be 14 again and ruin my life differently,” Kathy told me. After that surprising statement Kathy wriggled past elaborating further than a mumble about kisses with a fellow cellist at...

 
 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion    May 7, 2020

Looking out my Backdoor: Creatures great and small

Though not the least bit dangerous, Argentine Ants win the grand prize for pesky, irritating, prolific and impossible to be squashed with any permanence. You in the North Country don’t have to...

 

Looking out my Backdoor: Elegant living in a green dress

We have numerous ways of fooling ourselves; at least I have. Little things, like “A change is as good as a rest” for when I get bogged down on a project. Or, “If I take a walk, I will no longer...

 

Looking out my Backdoor: Sweat the small stuff!

I am unhinged. This morning my daughter sent me a picture of a lap blanket she bought me. I am in tears. The blanket, purple and turquoise, with feathers and butterflies and such, is beautiful. Beauti...

 

Looking out my Backdoor: Re-reading the classics, irreverently yours

Occasionally I pick up one of the classics in literature for a re-reading. I don’t recall what prompted me; it wasn’t the virus. Several weeks ago, in the interests of perusing a translation...

 
 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...

 

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