Wednesday, June 13, 2012

I was born in 1954 in Glendale, California, close to Hollywood and about 15 minutes out of Los Angeles.

I spent over 50 years in Southern California enjoying mostly sunny weather with occasional winds and rain.

I moved to Arizona a few years ago and settled in Tempe.  I truly love it  here, and I feel that I was inspired to move here.

Living just a few minutes from Phoenix is a real joy; there are so many things to see, and places to visit!

I found that it wasn't hard for me to adjust to the warm weather.  I really like it, in fact.  I truly love the hot weather, which is usually accompanied by strong wind.  I have heard the comparison that walking around on a hot and windy Arizona day is like standing behind an F-15 Fighter Jet at take off.

Get the picture?
Last year was my first summer in Arizona.  I love June!  The days are pleasantly hot...100 degrees or so, but it's a dry heat.  I can't stand cold weather so the heat feels good to me.

July is hotter than June, and then we have August.  August is a peculiar month when it come to the weather.  News channels have already started touting their channel's weather reports as the best ones to watch for honest coverage of "Monsoon 2012".

The weather here in August is bizarre!  The skies are more overcast, so there is humidity.  In late afternoon the sky turns to pinkish tan fog as the dust storms roll image that stays in the memory.

 Dust storm approaching Phoenix - July 5, 2011

The storm "fumigates the neighborhood with dust", as someone described it.  During the nightly dust storms there is zero visibility, so it is best to stay indoors until the storm passes (in a half hour or so).
What happens next is straight out of the transforming paintings hallway at Disneyland's Haunted Mansion.  The monsoon sweeps in with heavy winds and rain...and simultaneous, continuous lighting cracks through the skies.  The newscasters counsel residents to stay indoors so they don't get zapped by lighting.  No kidding!

 Storm over Tucson, Arizona

Oh, boy!  The next day everyone drives around with dusty cars spotted where the rain drops fell.  The car wash businesses do great here in the summer!

I will admit that these evenings are very dramatic and exciting, despite their potential dangers.  They make better viewing than the summer reruns.  Last year, Quincy* and I spent a half hour or so looking out our apartment window, watching the howling wind, pummeling rain and spooky lightning strikes.  Cool, as long as we're inside.

  *Quincy Cat

After the monsoon is over for the night, it is quite pleasant outdoors, and the residents have had a free adventure.  In the morning they can have a good workout sweeping up palm fronds, fast food wrappers and the ubiquitous pink dust.  

So if you want excitement on your summer vacation, come to Arizona in August for the succulent cactus, history, ghost towns, classic car auctions, art galleries, museums, theatre venues, tons of sporting events and life-threatening evenings that you will never forget!

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