holy haboob

July 8, 2011 at 3:27 am Leave a comment

I lived in Phoenix for five years. Five extremely hot and miserable five years. Not only is it like living somewhere near hell, you also have to deal with Haboob’s (giant dust storms).
One morning I walked out of my apartment on my college campus to find that it was foggy on a very warm, dry desert day. My roommate, who had grown up in the city didn’t seem to think anything of this phenomenon. Finally I had to say something. It came out as less than educated. “Why is there fog on a humidless spring day?”
She laughed at me, “That’s not fog. It’s dust.”
I ran for the cover of my car and slammed the door, hoping that it wouldn’t seep in. Then I wondered how people could enjoy living there.

photo taken by Ed Goldney

At other times I had the opportunity to see the enormous dust clouds rolling into the city (as you’ve most likely seen in the news recently, and in the picture on the left).  A wall of dirt. Usually it wasn’t a billowing cloud like the one which overcame the Phoenix area on Tuesday.
I would tell those fortunate souls living in other states of Arizona’s odd weather patterns, and they would look at me with disbelief (not the “I’m in awe kind,” but the “I simply don’t believe you” kind). This usually happened when I described the great Haboob’s. By the way, could they not find better terminology to explain these dust bowls?
Now I have proof that I wasn’t crazy, and that it really is horrible when these mammoths invade the town.

Since I have ranted about how much I hate Phoenix, I will highlight some of it’s attributes, because they do exist.
The city is kept in pristine condition, streets and sidewalks are kept free of trash, plantings grace side streets, art work is displayed along the freeway overpasses. Now that I live in a smaller town, I miss the variety of shops and restaurants the upper scale areas of Phoenix and Scottsdale have to offer.  In the middle of winter the trees are still covered in leaves, and the grass is still boasting emerald hues.
One early March, my friend who had grown up in Phoenix came to visit me in Colorado. She commented on the scenery, “It’s dead and ugly.” The winter hadn’t waned yet, dormant grass and trees were everywhere. I was surprised. All the states I had grown up in (and there were a few) had four seasons. For the most part each one had something we could enjoy, so when all she saw was dead foliage, I began to look at it from her perspective. Phoenix was green year around. It was pretty, and it smelled wonderful. That is Phoenix.
See, Phoenix does have some positive qualities, just not for this heat sensitive, cold loving, dirt hating girl. Colorado fits me perfectly.

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Tracy Dee Whitt - Author

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