Yesterday the kids and I had a wonderful day with our friends in Tucson. It was in the mid-60’s and sunny in the morning. One Daddy texted me before I left to come back home…he said to be on high alert because the weather just got crazy.
Crazy? In central Arizona? Was he serious?
As I went on my merry way with two sleeping children in the back seat, I quickly realized how very spoiled we are here in regards to weather. We get over 300 days of sunshine a year, do not have any major natural disasters, and aside from a few monsoons in July and August, the weather is not something we really have to think about as we plan our days.
The wind started swirling around, tumbleweeds were flying, and the dust flying around made me want a shower even though I was in my vehicle. Yesterday I experienced my first true “dust storm”. I saw the wall of orange moving across the desert off of 1-10 and within seconds, I could not see more than four feet in front of me.
One thing I learned – auto lights do not necessarily turn on in a dust storm. I came to an abrupt stop because I could not find the car in front of me and immediately realized the potential danger for someone plowing into me at 75-85 mph.
Pulled over to the emergency lane, put on my hazards, and took a moment to look at my babies sleeping. People wonder how losing a child affects you long-term…this is how. Moments like this make me extremely nervous. I shake, most of the time I cry, and I pray. Because I know what it is like to be in the 1% odds…and I don’t ever want to be again.
After about 5 minutes at 5mph in the emergency lane, it cleared. Then I saw the line of cars – what would become our first 45 minute traffic jam. Apparently, the first of many accidents.
This is where I thanked God for my iPhone an my hubby. Between the two, I figured out my alternate route (which are not plentiful in the desert). And as it always goes, just when I could take it, the traffic started flowing. 🙂
While listening to the news, I learned of the tragic 22-vehicle pile-up on I-10. The dust storm reduced visibility horribly in the morning as well, leaving at least 3 dead.
So my sweet Angel, I hope you will be with us today again as we drive up north for our Polar Express trip. There are a few snow showers expected and while we have had countless hours of training from our midwest days, I know the people here have not.
We could use your presence today….