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Articles written by Sondra Ashton

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 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion    December 18, 2014

The process of finding my inner pole dancer

Dance is different things to different people. To some, dance is pure joy of movement. To someone else, it is forbidden sin. Dance is exercise, artistic expression, communication, a route to seduction... Full story

 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion    December 11, 2014

Dear Miss Manners and other stories about Mexico

Know thyself. I am the first to tell you that I am selfish and self-centered to an uncomfortable degree. I would take a melon scooper and remove those traits if that were possible. I don’t have impe... Full story

 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion    December 4, 2014

3-week Evelynda with lady from that other Harlem

We met in Mazatlan several years ago. Evelyn is also from Harlem — not Montana — the Harlem in that Big City eastern seaboard state. A world traveler, Evelyn takes trips every year to different...

 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion    November 26, 2014

Thanksgiving in Mazatlan - it's a lot more than a word

There is a man who sits on a low trolley at a certain intersection roadway along the Malecon, a broad walk next to the seawall which runs about six miles around the harbor. I suppose one might call... Full story

 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion    November 20, 2014

The story of a typical day in the neighborhood

Take the other day, a typical day, as typical as any day can be when home base is a beach resort on the Pacific coast of Mexico. We’d eaten tropical fruit and sweet rolls, in a café overlooking... Full story

 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion    November 13, 2014

Music - even the Doors - knows no borders

Kathy and I peeled ourselves out from under the palapa on the beach, changed into street clothing and took a pulmonia down to the Plazuela Machado. We had two things in mind. We like to experience... Full story

 By Sondra Ashton Local columnist    Opinion    November 6, 2014

Looking Out My Backdoor: My lessons in living the Zen way - with panic

My friend Kathy and I lounged on the beach, mindlessly watching the waves roll in. Tide was high so the waves were literally underfoot. We each had a book open but upended on our laps. “I love it the way my mind goes empty while I’m on the beach... Full story

 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion    October 30, 2014

Looking Out My Backdoor: Colors for the walls - there's more than white

Every house or apartment I have ever moved into had white rooms. Oh, I just remembered, that’s not totally true. One was shades of putrid pink. Sooner or later, I transformed every wall in every... Full story

 By Sondra Ashton Local columnist    Opinion    October 23, 2014

Looking Out My Backdoor: Wild women on their holiday - fun galore

My friend Kathy from British Columbia flew in this week. For the next three weeks I will be with Kathy on holiday, staying up the street six blocks from where I have my apartment, at the El Cid Resort. Evelyn from Harlem in New York City will join... Full story

 By Sondra Ashton Local columnist    Opinion    September 25, 2014

Looking Out My Backdoor: When I grow up, what will I be

In a note to a friend I mentioned that I have lived my life in chunks. The years on the ranch. Years raising my children. Years re-covering furniture. Years in theater. Years in city government. Those sorts of chunks. Some chunks overlap. Some... Full story

 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion    September 18, 2014

Vagaries of wind and weather

Egads! Another hurricane. Last week Hurricane Norberto blew past, waved “hello” and left unwelcome gifts of havoc. This week, Hurricane Odile, not to be left behind, followed the same path.... Full story

 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion    September 11, 2014

Looking Out My Backdoor: Letters home about rain, floods and water

Dear Richard, Across the street the sewer main sprung a vicious leak. Nasty, smelly water is burbling up, sending a gray putrid pool down the street my way. The break is right on the corner of Calle del Pulpo and Tiberon. Actually, I don't know... Full story

 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion    September 4, 2014

Kicking, and embracing, the e-world with panic

Drag me kicking and screaming to the latest electronic devices and I obviously want nothing to do with them. My cellphone — the dumbest one I can find — is smarter than I am, and has functions I... Full story

 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion    August 21, 2014

Choices we make and second-guess later

Actually, there is no “we.” I am the one wondering if I lost my last wing nut. I’m down in the dumps, crawling along the bottom of the pit, rolling in slime and garbage. Well, it sort of feels... Full story

 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion    August 14, 2014

Hometown county fair, Anywhere, USA

I attended the Dawson County Fair with my daughter Dee Dee and her family. It was touch and go whether there would even be a Saturday night rodeo. Black clouds had rolled in, covering the sky,... Full story

 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion    July 31, 2014

Lexi rides the Empire Builder - toot toot!

Hi, my name is Alexandria. Call me Lexi. Grandma took me on train from Seattle to Wolf Point so I can spend time with my cousin Antoinette. Call her Toni. I am 6 years old. Toni is 8. Grandma asked... Full story

 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion    July 24, 2014

Weathering wear for the worst

I’m freezing. I’ve been shivering since landing at Sky Harbor in Phoenix last Wednesday. Phoenix is even hotter than Mazatlan. This being summertime, I didn’t expect frigid air in Phoenix. I... Full story

 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion    July 10, 2014

Dear Chamber, do I have a great idea for you

My friend David died last year. Ah, I miss him. But now and then I channel David. His wife, Vidya, insists David channeled P.T. Barnum. David was an idea man. He was always coming up with a good idea... Full story

 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion    July 3, 2014

Once upon a mattress

I always knew I was a princess. Not any old run-of-the-mill princess, mind you, but a fairy tale princess. Not just any fairy tale princess, mind you, but a princess like the one from “The Princess... Full story

 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion    May 29, 2014

Leaping lizards and gripping geckos

Lizards startle me. Back in the long-ago days when I rode horseback to check cows, now and then I'd see a flash of movement when a lizard sunning itself on a rock was equally startled by me. My mouth... Full story

 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion    May 2, 2014

Living the minimalist life and loving it

Several years ago when I made the monumental move from Poulsbo, Washington, to Harlem, Montana, with several truckloads of stuff, I unpacked and created a home that was also a library, an art... Full story

 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion    April 17, 2014

Return of the native to the Hi-Line

Feels good to be back in Montana in the springtime. One thing for certain, spring in eastern Montana is reliably brown. Other places, other climes, daffodils are popping up their cheery heads, lilacs... Full story

 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion    April 10, 2014

I'm just willing to be uncomfortable

People frequently say to me, “You are so courageous. I could never do something like ‘that.’” (“That” can mean any number of things, some crazy indeed!) I’m puzzled. Often, but not... Full story

 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion    April 3, 2014

Not exactly the gunfight at the OK Corral

This morning I sat in front of my casita, reading a book, sipping tea, enjoying the breeze on my face, when suddenly five truckloads of Mazatlan Policia screeched around the corner and, positioning...

 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion    March 20, 2014

What if the hokey pokey is what it's all about?

It was close to 4 o’clock when I left my apartment to walk up the street to get a liter of milk, no specific destination in mind, just a purpose — buy milk. I could go to the frutera and buy milk... Full story


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