Arizona’s hot. You all know that, right? Well, you think I would have remembered before I stepped out on our second-story deck that had been baking in the sun all morning. I was just going to lower the sunshades that I had raised yesterday afternoon before the dust storm came blowing through (more on that later). I expected the deck to be warm, but I wouldn’t be out there long. Um, I haven’t felt sand at the beach this hot. I hopped over to the parapet wall surrounding the deck to sit down and get my feet off the deck. It was hot too. So by the time I had hopped back inside, I had some nasty welts on the bottom of my feet. It hurts to walk. Sometimes I’m blonder than I pay to be.

Yesterday we had a dust storm. This unique phenomenon happens when it rains either to the north or south of here. The sudden downdraft of cool air pushes the hot air (and the accompanying dust) toward the valley. The good news is, after nearly an hour of choking and hoping you remember to lock everything up tight, the air is a good twenty degrees cooler. In the monsoon season, which officially starts July 7, the dust storms are usually followed by rain. Just enough to turn the dust to mud.

This is a picture of the wall of dust headed for us while we were at swimming lessons. It’s really neat when you see it on TV from a news chopper. It’s not so fun to watch from the middle of it.

This is what we had to drive home in. You can see how little visibility there is even at 5 in the afternoon.

This is the cornfield a block from our house.

And this road leads home. There’s actually a freeway overpass up there that you can’t see because of the dust. Apparently, this storm actually shut down Sky Harbor airport for a while. And guess what? It’s pouring right now as I’m typing this.

Finally, we went to the mountains north of here this past weekend. I took pictures with the video camera, so when I get my Mac back (hopefully Friday) I’ll try and pull some stills off and post them. It was a ton of fun.