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Articles written by Sondra Ashton

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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....

 

Looking out my Backdoor: Ripa Van Wrinkle rides again

I should have a good ten years of health ahead of me, since the last time I was this sick with a head cold was a good ten years ago. The prevailing wisdom is, if you don’t medicate a cold, it will...

 

Looking out my Backdoor - Gloomy in Glendive

I would like to tell you it is all about the weather. I would be lying. Even though it seems like rain has followed me from Washington to Glacier to Harlem to Glendive, I am simply not that powerful....

 

Can't iron my birthday suit

Two dozen Harlem High, Class of ’63 grads, arrived at the Great Northern Lodge for our 55th Class Reunion. Hugs, jabber, huge smiles: We provide instant love, just add self. I blurted, “We can no...

 

Looking out my Backdoor: Blue-haired lady on the move

When this gray-haired grandma left Mexico for Washington I filled two suitcases, large and small, with clothing I have yet to wear, with gifts to give, with everything possible I think I might need,...

 

The sublime and the frightening

I would like to tell you that my trip time in Washington is all sublime, that every moment is perfection, that my head is in the clouds with happiness. You would call me out on it, right? You might...

 

Looking out my Back Door: Little things mean a lot

When one has pared one’s life down to the bare essentials, little things take on incredible importance. I arrived in Mexico City with 40 minutes to make my connection. Airports are designed in such...

 

Looking out my Backdoor: Girl on bike, woman in red car

It’s a mystery. I hear Jack Webb’s voice (Sgt. Joe Friday) in my ear. “Just the facts, Ma’am. Just the facts.” July 25, a sweltering sunny afternoon, my granddaughter Antoinette, rode her...

 

Looking out my Backdoor: Where lines converge

When passing by a mirror this morning, I thought, “Lord, oh dear, I’m composting.” Well, aren’t we all but that’s no consolation. Which thought led me to a memory that shook me to my bones....

 

Looking out my Backdoor: The wrath of Ralph

Rule No. 1: Never write when sick. Rule No. 2: Do whadevah ya gotta do. It’s a virus, I’m sure. Caught it from a hug from Josue, who thought he’d eaten bad mangoes. Four days ago. Mangoes good....

 

Looking out my Backdoor: The PO, a prayer and poetry

I live at #3 Nopales on a small piece of the Rancho Esperanza set aside for a dozen or so retirement homes. That’s the sum total of any pretense to an Americano community in this still traditional...

 
 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion    July 26, 2018

Looking Out My Backdoor

I woke from my dream with that southern hill-country woman’s voice in my ear. The voice, the memory, from past years, was triggered in that non-linear way of memories, by a phone conversation with my daughter the previous day. My oldest granddaught...

 
 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion    July 19, 2018

Looking out my Backdoor: Slantways, like a crow

That morning, while eating a plata de fruta on the patio, ten feet from the incoming tide, a family of Tenates, Grackles to you and me, swooped onto my table. They look like ill-groomed clowns, like...

 
 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion    July 12, 2018

Looking out my Backdoor: I'm not there; I'm here

I like to mix my metaphors. Images impossible evolve. In partnership with Jim I bought a pig-in-a-poke, a hot tub that wasn’t working when we bought it. Between Jim’s persistence and Josue’s...

 
 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion    July 5, 2018

Looking out my Backdoor: Everything changes

Remember when the Big Store in Havre was Buttrey’s? What a magnificent place to shop, in the Atrium, with an escalator. That was truly “down town”. And Havre boasted many, many smaller stores,...

 
 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion    June 28, 2018

Looking out my Backdoor: Overload-Where's the off switch?

It’s my own fault, of course. I’ve hit the wall. Can’t go any further. A day of rest would do wonders. Two days might put me back to myself. If I’m not myself, who am I? I feel like a brainles...

 
 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion    June 21, 2018

Looking out my backdoor: Just blindly bumping along

Went to the artisans' tianguis (street fair) in Tonala and got me a man. Yep, brought home a genuine Mexican man. Next I wrote to my women friends and you should have heard the response. Oh, my. I...

 
 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion    June 14, 2018

I love a rainy night

By the time I got from beneath my covered patio to my front door, a few steps, I was drenched and dripping rain. Already the floor filled with standing water, a shallow lake, half-way across the...

 
 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion    June 7, 2018

Looking out my backdoor - As the worm turns

Paradise. Yes, I live in a garden of Paradise. I suppose there is a snake in every garden. My snake is gray. Pure deep gray with diamond shaped markings like fish scales. I’m told he is harmless. Ev...

 
 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion    May 31, 2018

Looking out my Backdoor: A pig in a poke

We didn’t exactly buy it sight unseen. Well, I suppose I did. My half. Unseen. Last winter, Jim, a neighbor here on the rancho, and I began hankering (that word generally precedes a pig in a poke)...

 

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