A Different Kind of Air Freshener

The atmosphere is heavy with moisture this morning.  To say it’s humid would probably be stretching things a bit.  There is certainly a difference from the usual overly long lingering summer heat we’ve had until now.  The sky is almost completely overcast, the sun trying to break through the clouds, but not having much success.  It’s glorious!

The bedroom communities of Phoenix are hotbeds of sameness, consistency and boredom.  Every third house in a subdivision matches; every landscape holds the same selection of trees, bushes, and rocks.  There’s some small variety, a few “county islands” where the yards are bigger, the houses unique, the sidewalks missing.

This suburban sameness mirrors the weather here.  Every third day, every second day, heck, every day is identical to the others, sunny, hot, blue skies, sunny, hot, blue skies. Oh sure, we have our monsoon season, of towering dust clouds roiling like something out of a scorpion laced movie, but those are rare and out of the norm.

Any change in weather from the trifecta of sun, heat and blue is a welcome change.  So the clouds moving in are all but getting a party thrown in their favor.  “Welcome Back Rain!” our signs taped to the garage door would say.  “We’ve missed you!!  Heart, heart, heart, heart, heart. “

Washing my car was a kind of rain dance a few years ago.  Spend the time to do a nice thorough water and soap in a bucket hand washing in the driveway, buff out the spots, shine the side view mirrors and sure enough there’d be what we call around here, “spit rain.”  Just enough water would drop out of a nearly cloudless sky, mixing with the dust in the air, to create little muddy spots on the car windshield and mess up that shine.

Clouds battling it out with the sun.

Today, however, looks promising.  There’s a wet smell to the air and the clouds seem to be winning out in the battle over the sky.

So in homage to the tentative onset of autumn in the desert, my doors and windows open wide today, exchanging stale indoor air for fresh, moisture-laden air.  Did I suggest it might be fall like weather today?  Oops!  I didn’t mean to let that slip out.   I’m hesitant to say such things for fear of jinxing it.

Just now, while writing, I heard this weird sound.  A wagon on the sidewalk?  Someone going by with a walker to help them shuffle along? The parakeets tearing up the newspaper in their cage?  A cat clawing at the screen door?  Something seriously wrong with the refrigerator motor? Crackle, crunch, tap, tap, tap, tap, tap.  Thought I better investigate.  Lo and behold, it’s raindrops hitting the sidewalk, the patio furniture, the rooftop, the leaves on the trees!  Five minutes of a smattering tease of rain.

I’ll take it.  Any rain, even amounts not measurable in a rain gauge are welcome.  (Insert a sigh saved up since April.) What that infinitesimal bit of moisture in the air adds to my day also can’t be measured.  Wet sidewalk scent should be a choice on the air freshener aisle.  Why isn’t it?

Categories: Outdoors | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

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