The Sky is Moving

We’d been out for a couple of hours running our Saturday errands. The forecast was for thunderstorms and lots and lots of rain starting in the afternoon and continuing into Sunday and we were trying to get all of our running around done before the first dust storm hit. We’re lucky to be on the west side since 99% of the dust storms and gigantic Haboobs start gearing up in the southeast and push through to our side of the valley last, giving us lots of notice.

Just as we pulled into the garage at 2:30 and started unloading groceries, the first rumble of thunder could be heard in the ever darkening sky to the south.  When I walked into the house with an armful of plastic bags bulging with produce and canned goods and frozen meals, Mom tore her eyes away from a CNN broadcast and looked up at me from the recliner. “Wow, that’s a lot of stuff!” she noted.

“Yup,” I huffed, “and a lot of it’s for you.”

“Me?” she asked, raising her eyebrows. “I don’t eat that much food in a month!”

“Well, let’s see,” I said with a grunt as I hoisted the bags onto the kitchen counter and proceeded to unload them. “We’ve got your 10 assorted flavors of yogurt, 2 half gallons of OJ, and a tub strawberry ice cream.”

“Well that’s not real food,” she offered with a shrug.

“But I’m not done yet. Here’s a bunch of your dinners,” I replied, stacking up two weeks’ worth of frozen meals. “Plus I got you a couple more boxes of giant size bandages, a new bottle of shampoo and some shower gel. Oh, and a new pair of PJs.”


“Because one pair of your summer pajamas is getting really frayed and the elastic in the waistband is losing its stretchiness.”

“Well, at least you got home before the bad weather came,” she offered as a thank you.

Suddenly, right on cue, my phone went off with a Severe Weather Alert ring. It sounded just like the TV emergency test sound.

“What in the world is that!” Mom exclaimed.

It’s my phone. It says there’s a dust storm warning until 5:00.  I’m not surprised.  The sky to the south is really black and nasty looking.”

“I know. The last time I looked outside the sky was moving and pushing the clouds around. I think the dust storm is coming from the north.”

“Mom, I just said it was nasty looking in the south.”

“That may be, but dust storms always come from the north.”

“No they don’t,” I argued. “They always come up from the south and southeast and blast through Mesa and Chandler and across I-10 and then maybe make it over to our side of town.”

“That may be but the one’s that come from the north are the worst so you better make sure everything’s closed up and get ready to go to the basement.”

“Mom, we don’t have a basement anymore,” I said with a sigh as I put the last of the yogurt into the refrigerator.

“What happened to it?”

“You left it in Michigan when you moved to Phoenix. It wouldn’t fit in the moving van.”

Oh, well, okay, that makes sense. Just go sit in a closet if the storm gets too bad,” she concluded, turning up CNN and the heated tirade the commentators were having about Donald Trump.

“What’s going on with the closet?” Bill asked as he plopped the last of the groceries down on the counter.

“Oh, nothing much. It’s where I’ll be with a rum and Coke in about 10 minutes. Feel free to join me.”


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