Manna blesses Phoenix for a moment

Was it manna from heaven? Or a dream?

Some of each.

Manna in Phoenix (Arizona) means one thing:

Rain. Precisely, monsoons. Which normally in a 3-month season (June-Sept.) provide half our annual water supply.

Normally. This year’s monsoons — bupkus. “Nonsoons” they’re being called.

Were it not for 5 million people and sprawling behemoth of concrete, freeways and vehicles, Phoenix would eerily resemble the Dust Bowl of “Grapes of Wrath.”

Then is delivered unto us a miracle.

For the record: August 28, 2019.

Rain. Wednesday evening.

So when I saw that it was RAINING — ACTUAL WETNESS!! — I exited the pub early …

… to stand, simply stand on the dimly-lit street corner, under the manna.

Phoenix rain

Manna in Phoenix for an hour in summer 2019. Spelled R-A-I-N.

It. Was. Glorious. Elevating. Refreshing.

To experience wetness … on my skin, my clothes, on my face, head, my glasses, my feet in typical flip-flips … I rejoiced.

‘Twas joyful and bittersweet.

When was the last time I saw rain? January?

Way too long anyways. It’s on record. Phoenix summer 2019 has been brutal — concurrently in Excessive Heat and Absence of Monsoons.

Everyone and everything’s feeling the pain. Some more acutely than others. I’m a water baby. Pisces. I took to pools, swimming early in life, like age 3! Water to me means Life.

Saying I’m a fish outta water in southern Arizona is a tiresome cliche — yet true.

So I stood soaking up the drops — a “regular” rain — not the torrential downpour other neighborhoods got — breathing … remembering this unfamiliar element called moisture.

I stood appreciating … reawakened to and longing for water in ways never before across MULTITUDES of residences domestically and overseas.

Then I drove home. I hoped for continued wetness. Like a child at Christmas, I didn’t want it to end. Unfortunately in my hood, it was bone dry. Sprinkled for some seconds. That’s the way of monsoons. Torrential rain here. Across the street, zip, zero, nada.

As if to prove that God is indeed cruel, this is Labor Day weekend. (Aug. 30-Sept. 1). The year’s last big blowout “while the weather’s still good” — ha! — where outdoor activities, BBQs, family vacations, camping, traffic prevail.

Weekend temps are forecast at 111 F (43.8 C). Unusually hot. Yet another Excessive Heat Warning, yawn.

And to really stick it to us, no rain in sight. One month left in the monsoon season. If the “nonsoons” remain, we’re all soooooo fucking screwed!

Thing is, going into 4 months of unrelenting HEAT and DRYNESS without replenishment from precipitation only heightened the hallelujah!!! that resoundingly rang across the Valley of the Sun on Wednesday.

‘Twas over before it began.

Roads dried up. Plants opened their arms then shriveled.

And we the people resumed being baked and grilled under a blazing sun.

Painfully apropos given a holiday weekend that’s all about parties and BBQs.


All living creatures in Phoenix over Labor Day weekend 2019


Merci, Mother Nature!

A pleasant surprise awaited me when I got up today.

My thermostat read 82 degrees (27.7 C).

Amazing relief compared to the 95 in my little studio just the other day!

Phoenix, Arizona, is getting a break from burgeoning heat — why, just 4 days ago, we officially tapped into the triple digits of 100 (37.7)! — due to a weak cold front sweeping the nation.

Some states are getting snow, rain.

Phoenix ain’t so lucky. Our luck rests in relief from heat. We’ll take it!

Today’s forecast says a high of 84 (28.8 C), low of 63 (17.2 C). Verrrry comfortable! Course the cooldown won’t last.

However, the difference between 84 (28.8) and 100 (37.7) is remarkable — the dry heat notwithstanding.

That’s the big line in Arizona. “But it’s a dry heat!” True enough. Images like these abound on postcards, souvenirs, etc.

Miniscule humidity most of the time. You bake. You fry. You run, you crawl toward any place cooler — or the illusion of cooler. Shade, for example.

Public air-conditioning is ubiquitous in Phoenix. Has to be. More than half the population would flee otherwise!

Anyways, today’s cooler temp brings with it a slight breeze. Whoooo-hooooo! My two windows don’t open wide enough to bring it on  — and in!

I’ve been feeling oppressed by the heat … while fully realizing that 100 (37.7) ain’t nuthin’ compared to what’s ahead in July, August.

We got 118, 120 degrees (47.7, 48.8 C) to look forward to (cough cough}.

Say it ain’t so!

Oh it be so!

So fucking hot.

So as I luxuriate in today’s comfy cooldown, I can’t help but be disturbed by something.

At 11:34 a.m., the outdoor temp is 76 (24.4 C). In my little studio, it’s 80 (26.6 C).

Can you say heat trap? Does not bode well for what’s ahead.

Which is why I’m in the business of fans. Portable powerful fans. Researching fans like never before! Like my life depended on it!

All too soon, it shall.

But today, we’ve got relief, merci mother nature! Daresay it’s even better than an icy gin ‘n’ tonic.

What’s to celebrate? Uh, wilting for starters.

Had to happen.

Always does. Not as predictably as Christmas on Dec. 25. Still, from media to bar folks, it’s had everyone talkin’.

Today it happened.

Phoenix officially hit the triple digits — 100 degrees (37.77 C) — for the first time this year.  At 2:10 p.m. and a week earlier than last year.

Records are kept on Phoenix weather, you betcha! From summer monsoons to heatstroke to air-quality warnings, seldom’s a dull moment in Arizona’s Valley of the Sun.

Speaking of air quality, Phoenix just made a nationwide list again. Ranks No. 7 as the most ozone-polluted metro area. Up from 8 last year.


No bragging rights there.

And rather contrary to a widespread perception that this desert Phoenix air’s great for health and respiratory issues. Retirees relocate here from all over the country for health. Car emissions are chiefly to blame for the shitty smog in this city of 5+ million, where drivers crowd narrow roads and sit daily in standstills.


Not that anybody’s dissuaded by this and other local unpleasantries. Phoenix’s largest county (Maricopa) also made the list of the fastest-growing county in the country for like the 4th year in a row.

Ugh ugh and ugh.

My relief lies in having no plan to stay. Even 6 months ago when I officially became a resident, I knew my stay would be short-lived … 1-1/2 years perhaps, time necessary to figure out the next move.

Anyhow, the Triple Digits arrived early. In no time, today’s high of 100 (37.77 C)  will be the low at midnight.


It was 95 degrees (35 C) in my studio apartment today.  I’m not happy. Neither are the blooms I bought just a few days ago.

They seem appropriate to mark the day’s occasion.


April 26, 2019. Happy Heating, Phoenix, Arizona