A couple of weeks ago, in the desert near Pinnacle Peak, outside of Phoenix, people who stepped out of their cars to savor the sunset felt the wind pick up suddenly, blowing hard and cold and carrying . . . raindrops? Really?
Careful examination of clouds in the distance revealed ragged curtains of rain showers swirling down just below the cloud line. Apparently, most of the rain evaporated long before moistening the dust, but we can vouch for several drops, perhaps even several dozens of drops, that fell all the way to earth.
After a few minutes, the wind died down, and the storm, such as it was, no longer was.
In 2010, it rained on everybody's Christmas parade in Kuching, Malaysia, but people seemed reasonably happy nonetheless, even afterwards on their way home.
Hereabouts, the winter rain has been nondenominational, this year dampening Hanukkah as well as threatening Christmas, and doing a real number on Festivus. Maybe we'll have a white New Year's.
Here's to holiday warmth and cheer, despite the mess the world is in.
Here in a Zodiac, scooting across Milford Sound, a fjord on New Zealand's remote southwest coast, on a cold wet summer day this past December, is Helen Ruskin Stein Behr with her three sons. Not pictured is her daughter, who visited Milford Sound a few days earlier.
The impetus for the journey to New Zealand was the awesome wedding of one of the granddaughters, Gillian, who emigrated to New Zealand seven years ago with her parents, Richard and Arleigh, and her sister Avi.
Today is Helen's birthday, as she turns eighty-something-and-who's-counting, to our great joy. Wishing her many happy returns of the day.