The prevailing winds

by Jennifer on June 27, 2008

This time of year, our sky here in Arizona can look like this:

It’s monsoon season, and that’s a dust storm (also called a haboob–say it out loud, you know you want to). Until you see one, it’s impossible to imagine what a wall of dust hundreds of feet high looks like. Spectacular, and dangerous. We drove through one once, on the way back from Tucson, and the limited visibility rivaled any blizzard in which I’ve ever found myself. You cannot see ahead of you. Cars pull to the side, and their drivers hope the other drivers behind them can see well enough to spot their taillights.*

A monsoon is defined as a shift in the prevailing winds. It can bring with it thunderstorms, flash flooding, and dust storms strong enough to change the landscape (they can move at 80 mph).

It’s the kind of weather that can kick your ass if you’re not careful.

And it matches my mood and our life these days exactly. I’m restless and tense. In the evenings, the wind whisks the trees around and sends debris skipping across the street. I step outside just to feel it on my face like a hot, hard kiss. If I were a cowboy a hundred years ago, I’d be starting bar fights just for the hell of it. That kind of tense. I’m sad, too, though that’s coming out in ways other than tears now.

We’re all in a funk this week, and that’s to be expected. Boy has declared this week “the worst week of my life,” and Girl has concurred. And, of course it is. Losing their dog has changed how life looks to them. But, though it has slowed them down, they’re still grabbing on to whatever fun there is to be had.

Girl declared that “we have to do something fun every day this week because Buddy died.” I know her thinking–that our activities should be compensatory. Make some fun to fill the hole that’s left. But she makes another accidental point: that we should go on living, and make it good.

Do something fun every day. I can’t say she’s wrong.

We haven’t exactly been tearing it up this summer, and we’ve been pretty fine about that until now. We’ve been swimming some, and just hanging out together. Today I was called upon to judge Girl’s fashion/talent show, which required me to wear a Santa hat, carry one of her pink handbags, and to hold a fairy wand in one hand. Talk about fun. (It was.)

But there’s a lot of stuff that isn’t settled right now, and it feels like we can’t see our way clear. We found a house we love, but five other offers let us know we’re not the only ones. So we wait, and hope for good news, and make a backup plan. I’m so ready to shake off the dust. I’m so tired of talking about how unsettled things are, you know? How great it will be to burst with good news, when it comes. Which it does, sooner or later. Anyone mind if I pick sooner and pin it down so it can’t get away?

So, yeah, I’m ready for the prevailing winds to change.

And in the meantime, maybe we should have some fun. Smart girl.


Photo credit: beegurl13, from Photobucket
*I’ve been gently corrected by Bruce, who let me know that the proper thing to do in a dust storm is to pull over and turn off your lights, so that other cars don’t think they are following moving traffic. In my mind, I was remembering what I saw, and not necessarily the right thing to do, and I’m grateful for the correction. I will remember it next time I’m caught in one of these.

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{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

Tina June 27, 2008 at 12:32 am

“I’m so tired of talking about how unsettled things are, you know? How great it will be to burst with good news, when it comes. ”

You and me both, sweetie…I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you and you do the same for me, okay? I’m ready to burst!

Excellent post. Your daughter is a smart cookie.

Tinas last blog post..Heart of the Home

Louise June 27, 2008 at 5:34 am

I say you should tear up the town this weekend. It doesn’t hurt to just escape and forget about the stress once in awhile. Your kids might not be quite old enough to do exactly what you would WANT on such occasions (play poker?), but there’s probably something you can do for a few hours, all day, both days that can just let you escape for a little bit.

Escaping is not the answer, I realize, but it sometimes gives your head a chance to clear, and be able to look at the real life more realistically and see the things besides the stress.

Also, the picture is terrific, and I DARE you to put it on Sky Watch Friday! It would be a worthy entry!

Louises last blog post..The Heart of Our Home

Jan June 27, 2008 at 5:57 am

Way to go, that daughter of yours.

My son is in AZ right now, and has talked about this time of year. It is so amazing to me how it just can change like that.

I hope you have some fun today.

Jans last blog post..Tired = random post

Treasia June 27, 2008 at 6:16 am

Make a wonderfully fun weekend out of it. Your daughter is right on in her statement.

I have never seen a picture like that before and it is really something to see.

Treasias last blog post..My overnight adventure

Lisa Milton June 27, 2008 at 6:41 am

A wall of dust and wind – that’s some wild stuff.

As one barfighting, restless one to another: hang tight. I just keep thinking something good is on its way, when this time of waiting falls away.

Fun sounds in order when the week is long.

Ree June 27, 2008 at 7:43 am

It must be blowing all the way to Michigan. I just have that feeling like the Universe is pushing every last nerve.

Rees last blog post..One Hit Wonders

Dharmamama June 27, 2008 at 8:54 am

Oh – it’s not just me! Dang, those monsoons are powerful – – all the way to NC!

Don’t forget to breathe! Those centered, long breaths go a long way to bringing me down to earth when I’m feeling blown about. Laughing works, too – your kids know that!

Dharmamamas last blog post..Heart of My Home

dragonfly June 27, 2008 at 9:03 am

She’s a smart girl, I’m glad you’re having fun.

The Sergeant has sent me pictures of sandstorms in Iraq and Kuwait. Incredible. I cannot even imagine..

dragonflys last blog post..Notes

Bruce June 27, 2008 at 9:09 am

Tisk, tisk, Jennifer, when driving through a dust storm, pull off to the shoulder of the road and turn your lights OFF and keep your foot off the break! Most folks are rear-ended in a dust storm because drivers behind you ‘follow’ your tail lights and don’t notice that you have stopped in time to avoid you.

As for having fun everyday. I think as adults we get to wrapped up in the daily grind to remember to do this. Sometimes, from the mouth of babes comes the pure truth.

Bruces last blog post..Essential Cinema – 34

Jennifer Harvey June 27, 2008 at 9:13 am

I edited to note that, unfortunately, I didn’t take that photo. I’ve been without mine when I have seen dust storms. But I wasn’t blogging then. 😉

Daryl June 27, 2008 at 9:21 am

See … I told you kids are resilient .. far more than us old farts …

And I keeping strong positive thoughts going on the house …

A friend who lives in the Ft Worth area tells me that they get those sand storms too …

Stay strong … and do do something fun … not just to fill the void but to celebrate Buddy … dogs are always having fun and you know he’d want his people to be happy!

Daryls last blog post..

we_be_toys June 27, 2008 at 10:13 am

I hate that you guys are in such a state of stasis right now – like you didn’t have enough to wreck your nerves, eh? Just like the monsoons, though, it has to break soon, and decisions will finally be made.

I’m with The Girl – carpe diem! Life is hard and life is definitely sad, but its what we got and really, life is good.

Big hug to you and your family!

JCK June 27, 2008 at 12:35 pm

The kids always keep you in the moment. Keep capturing a bit of fun each day, despite grief over losing a beloved pet.

That picture is amazing, Jennifer! Incredibly dramatic. We get what we call The Santa Ana winds here in Southern California. Whenever they come it throw people off a bit and someone always mutters…”This is earthquake weather.” They are off putting and intriguing all at once.

Hang in there – perhaps a poor choice of words as you are hanging in – and beautifully. It is so difficult to wait and not know. You’re doing good, girl!

JCKs last blog post..Summertime and the hair is easy…

Akelamalu June 27, 2008 at 1:30 pm

What a smart cookie she is! Great post Jennifer and I love the picture.

Akelamalus last blog post..Friday 55 Flash Fiction #33 Shipwrecked

Jenn @ Juggling Life June 27, 2008 at 2:01 pm

Well since Bruce corrected you, I’m going to feel okay about pointing out that you want to take your foot off the brake not the break.

As sad as it is the lessons about grief and how to handle it through this situation will stand them in good stead later in life,.

San June 27, 2008 at 2:11 pm

And I thought our dust devils were bad here in New Mexico! They’re just mischievous elves compared to those haboobs. We’ve had a dry spring and are anxiously awaiting the changing of the prevailing winds. COME ON MONSOONS! Wish I knew how to do a raindance. I would do one out on the sidewalk in front of the gallery if that would help.

I feel for you waiting for the right house at the right deal to make its presence known. Those waiting times are tough.

Lisa June 27, 2008 at 2:54 pm

That is so cool looking even if it awful to deal with!

GIRL is so right–do something fun everyday! I am right there with her 🙂

Lisas last blog post..Feel Good Friday June 27th

Crazycath June 27, 2008 at 4:22 pm

I wonder if the world is just unsettled right now? I feel a lot like that and I know and read that many others do too. It seems like we’re hanging on for something to happen so we can move on. At least, that’s how it feels to me.

You really are not on your own, and I would take your girl’s advice – do something fun every day. I’m going to try and take that advice.

Erm – does blogging count as fun?

Crazycaths last blog post..Lifer, Talent or Mandarin (Orange)?

Suzanne June 27, 2008 at 6:44 pm

This is the most amazing picture, I’ve never seen a dust storm or a photo like this….it’s amazing!

My thoughts are with you on the house bid….and I agree with your daughter and Louise’s comment above….sounds like the thing to do this weekend is let it rip, throw an impromtu cocktail party, invite your favorite neighbors and get the margaritas spinning in the blender.

flutter June 27, 2008 at 6:58 pm

seems to me it is time for a monsoon in your life. So, you, me, kids and something fun? You know you wanna.

flutters last blog post..Therapy Notes: Don’t BS me

Shashikiran June 27, 2008 at 8:05 pm

My second visit. I enjoyed reading this post so much, I read it slowly a second and a third time.

I’ve seen dramatic scenes when I’ve visited AZ, but not anything like in your picture.

Manager Mom June 28, 2008 at 5:04 am

Everyone I know seems to be in a weird funk…I agree, maybe you should try for a weekend getaway?

And, I would really like to see a picture of you in your judging getup.

Bobbi's Book Nook June 28, 2008 at 11:58 am

WOW! That photo is awsome!

Bobbi’s Book Nooks last blog post..The Other Boleyn Girl

Kimberly June 28, 2008 at 4:43 pm

She is wise beyond her years. You can never have too much fun in life.

That storm is wild. I can’t even imagine seeing one of those for real.

Kimberlys last blog post..Movie madness

Rhea June 28, 2008 at 6:19 pm

That’s an amazing dust storm. I’ve never seen anything like it. I’m so sorry about your dog. I hope you can find some fun every day. That’s important!!

Rheas last blog post..Queen of Random Drivel; Blogging without a Purpose

david mcmahon June 28, 2008 at 7:28 pm

Great image from BeeGurl, good advice from Bruce and as always, your post is a pleasure to read.

I can’t wait to read your novel.

PS: Glad my Camera Critters post made you smile!

david mcmahons last blog post..Verse And Worse

Carolyn June 28, 2008 at 8:24 pm

Yikes. I’ve never seen anything like that before. It’s like a sand tsunami. Scary!!

Carolyns last blog post..bokeh bokeh everywhere. hey. what the heck is bokeh?

Ann June 29, 2008 at 12:34 pm

She is a wise girl…clearly taking after her Mother. I hope the sky clears, I know it will. Why is clarity so muddy anyway?

Anns last blog post..Cell Phone Hickie, With Lemon Tart

D / Momma June 29, 2008 at 7:37 pm

Want some fun? Hop on over to my place and find out what kind of sports car you are. It will go along with the whole Thursday Drive thing. 🙂

Meanwhile, I commiserate with you on the loss of Buddy. It will take time, and trust me, the kids bounce back much more easily than we do. I am still grieving Leo all these months later. I plan to write about him on July 1st, the day before Bodhi’s birthday, then Bodhi. Maybe in some weird way it will comfort you.

Peace – D

Crazycath June 30, 2008 at 5:30 pm

Congrats on the POTD at David’s. Your writing *so* deserves that recognition. Well done!

Crazycaths last blog post..Weekend Wandering – Independence Day

The Lil Bee June 30, 2008 at 8:34 pm

Thank you so much for visiting and commenting on my blog. I love the concept behind Thursday Drive. It’s something I might do, if I were a driver. Perhaps I can start a Wednesday Walk?! Or a Tuesday Taxi Ride? (Ha!)

On another note, this post really touched me. I have two dogs—a chocolate lab named Reggie and a pitt-mix rescue named Paco—and my heart goes out to you and your family for your loss. Buddy looks like he was a wonderful friend, one who will be sorely missed. You’ve really honored his memory here 🙂

The Lil Bees last blog post..Attention Random-People-on-Sidewalk-with-Clipboards:

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