Articles written by Sondra Ashton

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Looking out my Backdoor: The flamenco and the bulls

Ai-yi-yi, what a week this has been. A few days ago, tongue in cheek, I mentioned to my friend Dan in Fort Worth that I would be returning to my “quiet and uneventful life.” Dan thought I was...

 

Looking out my Backdoor: A simple phone, please

Last night, Don and Dorothy, former neighbors, made arrangements to meet me to go to Loony Beans in Cerritos for breakfast. I went to the lobby at 8:50. I like to be prompt. I waited until 9:45...

 

Looking out my Backdoor: Piggy, selfish me

This afternoon I waved goodbye to Don and Denise, with hugs and kisses and tears, as they got into the taxi to carry them to the airport. Now I’ll feel an empty place inside me for the next couple...

 

Looking out my Backdoor: Hit the ground running

After a week on the beach, my guests, Don and Denise, and I, boarded the Primera Plus Autobus in Mazatlan, and climbed across the Sierras to my home in Etzatlan. In a country where not everyone has...

 

Looking out my Backdoor: Mazatlan on the Pacific

Greetings from Mazatlan. Every morning I sit on my balcony and watch the waves sloppy kiss the sand. Bird Island sits directly across a narrow stretch of water. Condors, vultures by any other name,...

 

Looking out my Backdoor: A fiesta on the Rancho

We gringos were all invited to attend a double christening for a great-granddaughter and a great-grandson of Delia, the Rancho owner. In preparation, Jim and I went into town to get gifts the day...

 

Looking out my Backdoor: It's a lot like life

I had to decide. She’d had a reaction to the anesthetic which left symptoms similar to epilepsy. Convulsions. Starvation. A rack of bones loosely held in rags of fur. Put her down. A euphemism by...

 

Looking out my Backdoor: Turning pages

“Sure wish I’d known 40, 50, years ago what I know today. I might have done some things differently,” I told my daughter. I was bemoaning my financial status, not for the first time, more like...

 

Looking out my Backdoor: 'I couldn't sleep a wink last night'

“I couldn’t sleep a wink last night,” it’s true. It’s silly to be lovelorn and at my age too. Oh, no. Don’t get excited. It’s not what you think. More’s the pity. I swear, I can hardly...

 

Looking out my Backdoor: Cold house pizza

The same Arctic cold that swept down through the southwest and snowed on Houston brought to Jalisco, inland Mexico, our own cold snap, minus snow, just short of freezing. At the same time, the fires...

 

Looking out my Backdoor: Walking in a winter wonderland

Admittedly, my wonderland is different than your wonderland. My wonderland lacks the beauty of new-fallen snow with crystalline flakes painting the landscape pristine and pure. Neither does mine...

 

Some days (I'm) more crazy than others

Q: Does that mean I’m crazier some days than others or does it mean that I’m crazier than other people? A: Yes I dread to tell this story on myself. I could keep it secret. I’m committed to...

 

Looking out my Backdoor: Some like it hot

I’m not sure when that vague wisp of an idea began to seem do-able. What I can tell you with certainty, though, is that once “vague wisp” grows to “might be do-able” and then morphs into “...

 

Looking out my Backdoor: Some things stay the same

Back when I was young and filled with angst and drama, certain my life would end if I didn’t get what I wanted or if the heartache of the day didn’t cease or if I thought you looked at me...

 

Looking out my Backdoor: The importance of negative space

Many years ago, I took oil painting classes with Julanne Campbell in Suquamish, Washington. I like everything about painting. Oil painting, water colors, painting the walls of my house. I like the...

 

Looking out my Backdoor: She's an angel - She's a devil

It is dangerous to invite a stranger into one’s home, one’s sanctuary. Can the guest be trusted to display simple rudimentary manners? What if we’re not compatible? What if our schedules...

 

Looking out my Backdoor: Not my best day

Every day should be my best day! There I go, thinking I “should” be grateful and, truly, I am. However, “should” can take a hike into the out beyond and stay there. But my reality is that I...

 

Looking our my Backdoor: Day to day in the land of perpetual spring

October brings on the melancholia of autumn. Even here. I recently read an extensive political and economic history of Mexico. Early Spanish invaders called this area in which I live, the land of...

 

Looking out my Backdoor: A simple can of tuna fish

Are you safe? Are you in the earthquake zone? Did you feel the quakes? Is there flooding in your area? What about the hurricanes? Do they reach you? The volcano? What has reached me are the concerns...

 

Looking Out My Backdoor: Times when you wonder

Do you ever have times when you wonder who you are? I mean, you might be sitting under the cottonwood tree, perfectly content one moment; the next moment you feel like the essence of you is outside...

 

Looking out my Backdoor: The seven deadly sins?

“Can you name the seven deadly sins?” she asked. I lay on Bonnie’s table, my body full of acupuncture needles. “I hope there is no wrong answer,” I countered, considering my vulnerable...

 

Looking out my Backdoor: Tequila lifts her skirts

Sunshine! After a solid week of all-day, all-night rain, the sun shines. Tropical Storm Lidia whooshed unrelenting rainclouds our way before veering off with a huff into the Pacific, energy dissipated...

 

Looking out my Backdoor: It's a 'fur' piece

From there to here. I’m not sure what sparked my curiosity, but from Havre in Montana to Etzatlan in Jalisco, Mexico, the distance is 2449.9 miles. That mileage does not take into consideration any...

 

Looking out my Backdoor: Bridges

What a precious two weeks in Poulsbo, Washington, while I stayed with my son, Ben. Ben and I had always been close; we’d weathered some tough early years together. Ben, at 35, a responsible family m...

 

Looking out my Backdoor: Felled by A blackberry bramble

I certainly never expected to spend an afternoon in the emergency room of the local hospital on my holiday with my son and granddaughter. Just an innocent scratch, I tried to tell myself. Lexi and I,...

 

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