Strange Lights in the Night

7-4-14 Haboob

It was a Thursday, about 8:00 in the evening, when the first Haboob of the season roared into town. It actually began late in the afternoon, about a hundred miles or so south and east of Sun City, so by the time the wall of dust hit us on the west side it was already dark.

As Bill and I sat watching last week’s recorded episode of Longmire the wind howled and the glow around the street lamps changed from bright, white to dirt brown. This was followed by deep, angry rumbles of thunder and strobes of lightning. The rain came an hour later, dumping buckets and buckets of wonderful wetness and turning the street into a river.

At 9:00, Mom said good night and headed off for bed. Ten minutes later, the baby monitor on the end table next to me came to life. “Patty,” she called urgently. “I need you.”

I jumped up and ran to the bedroom, worried that she’d fallen. Imagine my surprise when I rushed into the room and found her comfortably snuggled under her sheet, two blankets and a comforter, staring up at me from her fluffy, king size pillow.

“What’s wrong,” I asked, somewhat breathlessly. “Are you okay?”

“I’m fine,” she replied. “But I think someone’s outside in the yard by my bedroom.”

“Why would you think that?” I asked.

“Because I think they’re trying to shine a flashlight in the window,” she said in a shaky whisper.

Another rumble of thunder focused my attention to the window closest to the street just as the shade brightened briefly with defused light.

“See? See?” she cried out in alarm. “There they are again. Go get Bill. Tell him to chase them away.”

“It’s lightning, Mom,” I replied calmly. “There’s a Haboob blowing outside.”

“Are you sure no one’s trying to get in?” she asked suspiciously.

“Yes, I’m sure,” I said. “It’s thundering and lightning like crazy. And before you ask again, no I’m not sending Bill outside to check. We’re in the middle of a major dust storm and its pouring rain.”

“Okay,” she said, rolling away from me onto her side. “I suppose if the weather’s too crappy for Bill then burglars probably wouldn’t be out either.”



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