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Articles written by Sondra Ashton

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 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion

Looking out my Backdoor: The day my mimeograph machine broke

Back in the olden days, in grade school, teachers used low-tech machines which made copies for all manner of school work, from pictures to color (don’t color out of the lines) to... — Updated 3/4/2021

 
 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion

Looking out my Backdoor: Stick, stab and jab at the lab

Have you ever felt like you don’t really know what’s happening until it’s over? If I’m not around people to mirror back to me what I’m doing or saying, it is easy to fool... — Updated 2/25/2021

 
 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion

Looking out my backdoor: Dear Leanore,

I love it when Leo comes from the post office with a real letter in hand. Here it is mid-February and I just received your Christmas card. Denise’s arrived last week. I’ll not... — Updated 2/18/2021

 
 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion

Looking out my Backdoor: February is the longest month

Into every life some rain must fall. Okay. I understand. Go throw up and come back to let me explain. Our particular metaphoric “rainfall,” the whole world over, no humans... — Updated 2/11/2021

 
 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion

Looking out my Backdoor: Letters, we get letters, we get stacks and stacks of letters

My last two were heavy-with-grief. I received unprecedented response. And lots of questions. I’ll talk about that in a minute. First, the good news. My son is back, truly the... — Updated 2/4/2021

 
 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion

Looking out my Backdoor: As the World Turns The Edge of Night

Nobody could have written a soap opera to equal the drama of these pandemic days. It’s not just me and my family. We are all part of the drama. Nobody would believe it. No soap... — Updated 1/28/2021

 
 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion

Looking out my Backdoor: It's a mess

When one thinks it can’t get worse, it can. And it does. This coming Feb. 20 would have been my son’s sixth sobriety birthday. I considered a thousand different ways of talking... — Updated 1/21/2021

 
 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion

Looking out my Backdoor: When summer sausage is a slice of bliss

Jim from Missouri, funny how we label people, isn’t it, was talking with me the other day, distanced and masked, when, in an idle comment, I mentioned that I miss summer sausage,... — Updated 1/14/2021

 
 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion

Looking out my Backdoor: Beginnings, mysteries and a mixed bag of nonsense

Bob T, a long-time friend from my past, used to compare life to a battery. In order for it to work, life must have both positive and negative poles. I, of course, wanted only the... — Updated 1/7/2021

 
 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion

Looking out my Backdoor: Merry Christmas

The phone rings. I grab my mask with one hand and the phone with the other. “Merry Christmas.” My new habit. Masking has become automatic. Before I leave the house I grab a... — Updated 12/24/2020

 
 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion

Looking out my Backdoor: Oblivious me

I am a marked woman. Last week I announced to my little world that I am studying Spanish, obviously a language tagged as subversive. When next I arrive in Havre, I'm likely to be... — Updated 12/17/2020

 
 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion

Looking out my Backdoor: The Rain in Spain - go away!

I’m a Sun Bunny. Sun worshipper. Sun seeker. For the past week if or when a tiny patch of sun parts the clouds, I rush out to sit, face raised toward the bounteous warmth,... — Updated 12/10/2020

 
 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion

Looking out my Backdoor - From Big Sky to Big Earth

Perception is all. I love the Big Sky Country. I like to picture it this way: I stand and slowly turn a whole circle. When I look downward, I see the earth. When I look outward and... — Updated 12/3/2020

 
 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion

Looking out my Backdoor: In my garden of earthly delights

Editor’s note: Due to an editorial error, this column did not run before Thanksgiving. My world is circumscribed by the boundaries of the gringo part of the rancho. I walk the... — Updated 11/30/2020

 
 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion

Looking out my backdoor: I have nothing to say

Some weeks are like this. Nothing happens. My mind is either too restless to settle or too restful to notice. My son Ben and his girlfriend, Kristen, are recovering from the COVID... — Updated 11/19/2020

 
 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion

Looking out my Backdoor: The creature from the white lagoon

My son and his fiancé are both sick with the dread coronavirus. I had not heard from him so I hounded him, knowing something was wrong. Ben managed to send me a two line email... — Updated 11/12/2020

 
 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion

Those were the days, my friend, we thought they'd never end

The Governor of Jalisco pushed the Emergency Button. Only food stores and pharmacies are open for business. The numbers for COVID infections and deaths have doubled what they were... — Updated 11/5/2020

 
 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion

Looking out my Backdoor - Aging exponentially

A couple weeks ago I wrote Kathy, “I have aged 10 years since I had surgery in January.” Today Kathy wrote me, “I’ve aged 20 years since this coronavirus pandemic.” Since... — Updated 10/29/2020

 
 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion

Looking Out My BackDoor - A shift in perspective

This morning, Leo brought me a box of 24 jumbo Crayola Crayons and a pad with a dozen dry cakes of water colors. Along with the requisite brush. Just like we used back in first grad... — Updated 10/22/2020

 
 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion

Looking out my Backdoor: Day by day by grateful day

On Canadian Thanksgiving Day, Kathy wrote with questions about our U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. Basic “how does that work?” questions. I’d been in the kitchen... — Updated 10/15/2020

 
 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion

Looking out my Backdoor: Oh, yes, I'm the great offender

“My need is such I offend too much. I’m lonely but no one can tell.” Ah, they were a great group, back in my time, The Platters. “Pretender” is the real word of the song,... — Updated 10/8/2020

 
 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion

Looking out my Backdoor - Double bubble toil and trouble

In these perilous times, we must make our own fun. In the interests of pleasure and economy, aided by an unusual (to me) scientific bent, I set out to boil up some chemical... — Updated 10/1/2020

 
 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion

Looking out my backdoor: The 'real' meaning of life and other silliness

When I sit at a blank page with no idea what I want to write, I go through who, what, when, where and how of the past several days to see what might pop up and out. My life is... — Updated 9/24/2020

 
 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion

Looking out my backdoor: Why I'm not a real writer

Several years ago I attended a prestigious writers’ conference in Seattle. It was time. I was committed. I paid a bundle. The conference offered a chance to mingle with real... — Updated 9/17/2020

 
 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion

Looking out my backdoor: Topsy and turvy

Last week, Crin wrote that she saw two full moons. I shrugged. That fits. The earth is flat, thank you, Pam. And the sun gallops around the earth at an unprecedented rate. The world... — Updated 9/10/2020

 

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