21 July 2005


The monsoon is here and it is wonderful.

I know—I don’t live in India. And I don’t know what a real monsoon is. My father-in-law would constantly remind us that this is nothing like a monsoon. During his time in the armed forces he served in an Asian country where real monsoons occur.

But I know what a monsoon means in Tucson. Lightening shows and lots of rain—often flooding. It brings a relief to the recent high temperatures over 110. It replenishes the earth with much needed water. And it provides local news their headliner. Because, inevitably, some idiot tries to cross a flooded wash and gets stuck. This is a problem in Arizona, but Arizonans like to punish those that get stuck in the mud. They have a “stupid motorist law” that requires drivers to reimburse the state in case of rescue. I love the candor of locals when warning people of the danger of flooded roads. Only in Tucson.

By the way, the meteorological definition of monsoon (at least by local standards) is three consecutive days where the dew point averages 54 or above. And we enjoy it. We get a break from the sun with afternoon cloud cover and evening walks turn beautiful with the clouded sunsets reflecting pink and oranges hues on the desert mountains. It might be my favorite time of year in Tucson.