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Articles written by Sondra Ashton

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Looking out my Backdoor: All my oceans lie westward

I felt lost the whole week. I had absolutely no sense of direction. How could I tell? I have long been able to orient myself to water. I sense the presence of a body of water. On our last day,...

 

Looking out my Backdoor - Rags to riches

Remember a few weeks ago I stayed in the sleaziest hotel in Chacala? Lovelytown. Ugly hotel experience. This week, thanks to the generosity of Kathy and Richard, I am in the most posh hotel in Cancun,...

 
 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion    April 4, 2019

Looking out my Backdoor: Tempus fugit

Time flies and the older I get, the faster it fugits. As I contemplate yet another birthday, that mean ol’ tempus is fugiting at the speed of light. To add injury to insult, this weekend we will...

 

Looking out my Backdoor: The Sleaziest Hotel in Chacala

We told her. We told her. Never again is she allowed to pick the hotel. “The owner is really nice,” she said. “Yes, the owner is a nice man; his wife is nice, his three-year-old daughter is...

 

Looking out my Backdoor: What you gonna do when your well runs dry?

Three weeks and counting. Two deep wells supply the municipality of Etzatlan with water. One of the city well pumps quit working. Died the good death after a life of service to his community. Down on...

 

Looking out my Backdoor: I got culture

Last Thursday Kathy, Richard, Nancie and I drove into Guadalajara for a night of highbrow music. El Teatro Santo Degollado, in the Centro Historico district where the Orquesta Filamonica performs, is...

 
 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion    March 7, 2019

Looking out my Backdoor: Strange and sad and sweet, amid Mardi Gras

I’ve heard stories about this elderly couple who live in El Amparo, the abandoned mining town in the mountains, ever since I moved to Etzatlan. Every Thursday this traditional couple, she in her...

 

Looking out my Backdoor: February is the longest month

Winter, we are weary. Whether she gambols like a bleating lamb or roars like a lion, we welcome March after the grim days of February. Skies may still be gray but a fleeting scent in the air says...

 

Looking out my Backdoor: A road less traveled

Jim phoned, “Would you like to go to El Amparo? John and Carol are coming. Be ready in half an hour.” I’ve been wanting to go see the ghost town of El Amparo for three years. Beginning in the...

 

Looking out my Backdoor: Distracted

When our Rancho gardener comes in the morning, Leo often asks me, “Sondrita, how is your wonderful retired life?” “Yes,” I say. We laugh. We both understand my meaning. “Yes, wonderful....

 

Looking out my Backdoor: Be happy, don't worry

Yes, I know, the song says “don’t worry, be happy” and I reversed the order. Which comes first, chicken or egg, or does it matter and who cares? What I noticed is that when I am happy, I tend...

 

Looking out my Back Door: Tequila, pole dancing and more tequila

Yesterday John and Carol, Leo, our gardener, and I took a trip up to the top of the sacred Mountain, Volcan de Tequila. Tequila Mountain dominates a huge section of Jalisco, can be seen from...

 

Looking out my Backdoor: Merry Christmas in January

Dear Lee and Roy, Imagine my surprise when Leo handed me mail this morning. He climbs the stairs at the Mercado every Monday morning to check my mail box. I suspect the real reason Leo checks mail...

 

Looking out my Backdoor: Oh, for pity's sake!

Those words came out of my mouth with full exclamation stop. And nobody near with ears to hear. Among other things in this mysterious and strange aging process, things like talking with myself, I...

 

Looking out my Backdoor: Every day a different day

This morning I walked down to Tony’s On The Beach for breakfast. I called it a walking meditation because naming it such makes me feel better about my small steps, snail pace. Once again I am in...

 

Looking out my Backdoor: The Mystery of the Purloined Scarf

The episode began innocently enough. I had walked over to see Carol about something so mundane I don’t even remember. She came out of her door with a stunning pink scarf wrapped around her neck. I...

 

Looking out my Backdoor: Endings and beginnings

Christmas has been celebrated. The first day of the New Year lurks around the corner. We arbitrarily close out one year, stamp it “over and done” and with trepidation open the flaps of the box...

 

Looking out my Backdoor: In my garden of earthly delights

Angels and snakes, metaphorical. Every garden has each. While moving my water sprinkler, I stepped in a nest of fire ants. Stepped out quickly, swiping ants off my legs, onto my arms, off my arms,...

 

Looking out my Backdoor: How I got to be the BVM at 73 and then I died

For me, it was a fortuitous choice. I don’t sing in public. We were gathered on the festively decorated patio out by the pool. Yes, there is a pool on the Rancho. I don’t talk about it because I...

 

Looking out my Backdoor: Do you ever have one of those days?

Maybe you don’t but I have a tendency to automatically and immediately attach a judgement to various happenings during my day. You know—that’s good; that’s bad. Usually I catch myself and...

 

Looking out my Backdoor: Romancing the snow

My daughter Dee Dee sent me pictures of Antoinette building a snowman, the falling white fluff thick on the ground, the tree branches covered with hoar frost. For a moment, just a moment, mind you, I...

 

Looking out my Backdoor - 'Same to mango-everyday more better'

In other words, “The older the mango, the sweeter the fruit.” Words by which to live from Leo’s Aunt Cuca, 100 years old. Sundays she walks five kilometers to church, refusing rides from neighbo...

 

Equal opportunity mail order

Crin wrote, “Look at the nice young man you can get online these days.” A photo accompanied her note. Ah, Crinny, it’s been done. Mail order was quite a popular movement back in the late 1800s,...

 

Comings and goings

They flapped a clamor like rain drumming on my roof. The day is sunny and bright. Overhead, a gigantic thundercloud of blackbirds shadowed the sky in annual migration. I like to imagine these are the...

 

A normal/not-so-normal-day

I woke up grumpy. Not normal. Beautiful sunrise. Normal. After coffee and Qi Gong with Jim, I still felt out of sorts, no energy. I sat; he gonged. Decided to go to the doctor. Definitely not normal....

 

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