Wednesday, July 14, 2010


"Did ya hear thet noise, Boy? Did ya hear it?"

"Yeah, Uncle, I heard it! What in tarnation was that noise?"

 "Did ya see thet light, Boy? Did ya see it?"

 "Yeah, Uncle, I saw it! What was that light?"

"Do ya feel the wet, Boy? Do ya feel it?"

"Yeah, Uncle, I felt it and I still do! What is that wet, Grandpa?"

"Boy, thet's the MONSOON! Here in southern Arizona that is salvation for the land. That 's what makes the Palo Verde trees grow, that's what makes the cactus bloom, that's what feeds the lakes and rivers so we can have water to drink and to wash in. That's the Monsoon."

Yes it is, and it's here. By the calendar the Monsoon season starts here on June 24, and as we reported earlier, we had about 17 drops of rain here at our site that day. By the old meterological standards (three days in a row with a Dew Point of 54 degrees) the season started Monday, and yes, we had a nice little rain storm Monday. The new meteorological standard (and I don't know what that is) says it's HERE! NOW! TODAY!

Last evening as we left the casita, we decided to sit out under the porch roof, as the sky was dark and threatening to the east, over our Dragoon Mountains. It wasn't long before we began to hear the quiet, slow roll of thunder in the distance, and to see the occasional reflection of lightning on our trailer. After about ten minutes, the thunder became louder and sharper, and the lightning became more visible as actual bolts of electricity shot from the clouds to the ground. Soon a small patter of rain hit our awning. That was a good time for us to go inside, and shortly a serious rainfall began pounding on our roof ... for just a few minutes. It shortly slowed to a gentle but steady rain.

As I began to write this I was looking out the window to see the sun descending below a line of clouds and then behind the distant mountains.
Yes, we call those mountains here in southern Arizona, but if you were to drive here from anywhere along the Pacific coast region, you'd know they are really hills. But we call them mountains, because that's what they look like to us.

Monsoon. Rain. A blessing on the land.

Ranchers and farmers rejoice. Motorists don't, because Monsoon rains cause flooding and road closures. Not for long, but enough to bother people who have to drive a lot in our desert area. The land is criss-crossed with what you might call gullies; we call them washes. And when we get good rains, those washes fill up with fast moving water. Even when there's no rain where you are, if there's rain in the mountains, you expect the washes will up fast, and when you see water in the washes crossing the road -- even the Interstate Highways -- you don't drive there. Every year we hear of people getting washed away, stranded, even drowned, trying to get across a wash with just a little water in it.

Here at our place, we are trying to get everything ready for our 50th anniversary party in a couple of weeks. Several members of our family will be able to join us, and even some friends from California and Washington will be here. We'll have a park-wide potluck supper Saturday and a family day Sunday. Suzy and I are making lists and checking them twice, we know what we have to buy and what we can borrow from the park. These are some of the decorations the park has available.

We've ordered an anniversary cake to serve 80, from Fry's supermarket which is only 35 miles away. We'll have champagne and sparking cider.

How many will show up? Your guess is as good as ours. For the Fourth of July lunch there were about 50 from the park attending. Out of 300 leased sites in the park, only 81 are currently occupied, and there are 21 other sites with "guests" on hand. They are all invited, but some never come to anything.  We'll have family and local friends here to round out the numbers.

What we are fervently hoping is that the Monsoon will cooperate and not flood the area that weekend, not pour down while we are grilling chicken breasts, hanburgers, and brats out in the back yard.

Stay tuned, we'll try to keep you posted. Thanks for being with us along ... Our Life on Wheels.


  1. You stated that by the calendar the monsoon season starts on June 24. Does it also have an ending date? And are they really called monsoons? I know that Arizona has washes with warning signs because we saw that when we were there this spring. But I didn't realize that there was actually a season for the monsoon rains. Do the rains cool things off at all? I'm full of questions today!

    Your post was entertaining and informative, as usual. Great picture of sunset under the clouds and over the mountain.

  2. Those monsoons always revitalize the desert regions. Part of nature's cycle I suppose.

    Those decorations you all are getting together for the big celebration are looking good!

    Happy Monsoon Season!

  3. You taught me something I never realized about the desert!! Life is an education...thanks!!
    We will keep our fingers crossed and say a little prayer that the monsoons hold off for your 50th Anniversary celebration.
    Wish we could be there with you all.

    Take care!
    Mike & Gerri (happytrails)

  4. Do you have any idea of how BAD we would like to be there???? I only hope we can make our 50th....Obviously we cannot make it...but "what a run" you two have goin' on!!!! Have some Champagne for us!!

  5. Your anniversary celebration will, no doubt, be a great event. Wish we could be there, but we will be thinking of you and will raise a glass in toast to two of our favorite people!

    The sunset photo is awesome.

  6. Would love to be there & photograph the turbulent skies & lightning bolts during the Monsoons. Storms are so totally fascinating to watch. We have seen lots of washes in our southwest travels but very few with water in them. The way the earth is gouged in many spots I've often said to Kelly I would really like to see that force of nature actually happening some day.

  7. Great to read your blog again - I was beginning to think the monsoons had maybe washed you down to Bisbee! We're bone dry right now but our "rainy season" won't begin until some time in November when the rains will fill up the rivers, creeks and reservoirs - like you say, it's a vital and necessary thing to make sure everything flourishes.

    Good luck with the anniversary preparations, I'm sure it will be a big success!


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