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Looking out my Backdoor: Stranded without phone and internet


November 27, 2019

Good afternoon, this is not Sondra.

After calling my mom for several days, and impatiently wondering where she has gotten up to without alerting me to her travels, I found out her phone and internet lines have been cut. Leaving her all out on her own, with only her friends and local animals to talk to.

She does have a Mexican cell phone which costs about $13, so you know how great it works. I never call it unless I know she’s traveling, so this wasn’t my first thought.

When I finally received the news, she was stranded incommunicado-wise from telegraph and smoke signals, I wised up and called the cellphone. I had to laugh, because the reason she is without phone and internet, is because the driver of a giant dump truck raised his bed and drove through town, cutting all the wires. This happened in Glendive this year, so I am thinking it must be common to forget the big old dump is lifted.

The expert came out after three days and looked at the wires, and said the job is too large for him and he will have to get a hold of the main headquarters. Guadalajara. Does that mean weeks? Mom is better at this mañana thing than me. I’m more of an “I want it. And I want it now.”

When mom answered, she sounded like someone who hasn’t used her voice for days. OK, maybe that is a bit of an exaggeration. I found out she had just come home from a ranch family Thanksgiving potluck. She had turkey, dressing and everything else imagined. There were nine people enjoying each other’s companionship.

Mom was a bit disturbed that I had not been imagining her broken and wounded in a hospital. I told her I would have known. We have a weird spidey-sense with each other. If I’m distressed, she knows and calls me. Same for me with her. The spidey-sense didn’t tell me about the dump truck though.

The upside to this, mom has been jotting down more poems and article ideas. She says this with glee, because she sends them to me to post. A dozen poems a day sounds daunting for me to post. If you love her poetry page, you’ll be getting more soon. Ish. Mañana. Mom informs me mañana doesn’t mean just tomorrow; it also means sometime in the future. I’m hoping it means tomorrow.

Have a happy Thanksgiving, everyone!


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 http://montanatumbleweed.blogspot.com/. Email [email protected]


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