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


November 29, 2018

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 adjust my attitude before damage is done. Usually.

Today is not a “catch myself” day. Take this morning. Generally the sun hits my backyard patio beneath the jacaranda by 8:30. I like to take a book and cup of coffee out and bask like a lizard for half an hour, Mexican time, which often stretches to an hour. Ah, beautiful sun.

At 8:30 the sun made a spotlight on my azure-blue metal rocking chair. Coffee and book in hand, I settled. Ten minutes later the sky clouded up, temperatures dropped, and I felt a distinct chill. It wasn’t a big deal until I made it one. “Weather.com said sunshine for Etzatlan. Sun must have forgot to check the forecast,” I grumbled on my way back to the house, where I swept my floors to warm up.

On a scale of 1 to 10, my spiritual temperature hovered near a four.

Before I could do anything else, I needed to clear up a little communications problem. Have you ever clearly and distinctly said A-B-C-D? Your friend heard E-F-G-H and responded with W-X-Y-Z. I hate when that happens.

Steve and Theresa, friends from Washington, visited me in April, fell in love with my town and Rancho Esperanza.

Delia owns the Rancho. Bonnie, her daughter, manages it. Theresa carefully sent every email of the negotiation, start to finish. I had told Bonnie my friends wanted to live here, gave her a synopsis of our history plus a character reference.

How could we know Delia no longer reads her email. I won’t go into nitty-gritty details. Turned out the deal was made, sealed with a check and neither Delia nor Bonnie knew. I scurried from place to place, making nice, showering waters of clarity to douse miscommunication fires.

Steve and Theresa followed up with phone calls. It all got handled. All is well. A-B-C-D now reads A-B-C-D to all concerned.

My friends are now my neighbors. They’ll be here in February to start work on the pile of bricks they bought sight unseen.

Me, I’m having trouble shaking the icky feeling generated by the misunderstandings and it’s not even my problem. By the way, the sun came out and I merely growled at it. Spiritual temperature dropped down to two.

Next on my agenda was a trip into town to get my teeth cleaned. Going to a dentist, any dentist, for any reason, generates terror in my heart. Elda, my dentist in town, found a crack in a tooth, found the crack before my tooth fell out of my mouth, one half at a time.

Well, well, isn’t that just jolly good news! Negative reading?

“I can fix it,” she said, and proceeded to do so right on the spot and it didn’t even hurt.

“Why, you ungrateful little snit,” I told myself. “You could have lost your teeth, one by one.”

Next, I had to deal with money, not my strong suit. Down to my last thousand pesos, read 50 dollars, I had gone to several ATM machines, different banks, each of which spit the card back at me — pfffoooey. I don’t face rejection well.

I suspect my card has somehow become de-magnetized. It happens. I called my daughter to go to Western Union and wire me a few bucks for emergencies.

I had to make three trips to the Western Union and still they would not/could not release my money. That also means three trips for my daughter trying to correct problem. Don’t ask. By the third trip, I had fire in my eyes that not even money could quench. On a scale of 1 to 10, how far negative can one drop?

Meanwhile, back at my bank, Debbie took care of my bankcard problems. That woman has the patience of a saint and I appreciate it.

Relationships. Money. Health. What a day. If I had a job, today my boss would have fired me. The icing on my cake is the gasping scorpion which managed to crawl in my front door.

Hey, most of the problems are resolved, right? So I should feel on top of the world, right? After all, the scorpion was dying.

Go away. Let me wallow.

Tomorrow the sun will shine again. Well, maybe.


Sondra Ashton grew up in Harlem but spent most of her adult life out of state. She returned to see the Hi-Line with a perspective of delight. After several years back in Harlem, Ashton is seeking new experiences in Etzatlan, Mexico. Once a Montanan, always. Read Ashton’s essays and other work at montanatumbleweed.blogspot.com. Email [email protected]


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