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About an hour ago, we’d settled down for the evening. Dinner was over, and the dishes were done. Through the open windows, a light breeze rustled the blinds, and the jets from Luke AFB began flying drills over the house. It’s unusual for them to run exercises in the evening. During the day, they rattle the windows, racing overhead. Every couple of months, though, they’ll fly patterns in the dark.

I remember, during those first awful days after 9/11, when all of the flights were grounded, the skies were eerily silent. Sky Harbor flight patterns often route commercial traffic over this end of town, too. Missing the noise of the planes gave way to being startled by the roar of jets, flying patrols. We all ran out of the house to watch. There was a level of comfort then, as now, knowing that we were somehow safer.

On my way home from the office today, I could see some clouds moving in. The radio weatherman announced that there might be a few showers late, mostly to the east of the valley. Since we live in the far northwest valley, I didn’t pay attention.

As the fighters circled around, I turned the volume up a bit on the television. A friend who lives far to the south of me suddenly tweeted at me, excitedly typing that her house was getting hit by a violent thunderstorm. Here, the breeze had picked up a bit, but we still had only the rumble of the jets. Within ten minutes, the big Sissoo trees in the back and down the side of our house were thrashing wildly, and lightning lit up the back yard like a strobe light. It was suddenly hard to distinguish between the rumblings of the jets and the cracks of thunder. A few minutes after that, the rain came down in sheets.

I’ve talked before of the novelty that rain represents. Soon, my whole Facebook timeline was full of fellow Zonies, announcing the weather. Friends were outside, dancing in it, reveling in the smell of the parched earth as it greedily soaked up the much needed moisture.

Here at the house, I turned off the bedroom light, stretched out on the bed and listened to the sound of the rain on the leaves.

All the while, our two dogs slept, unimpressed with the lightening or thunder.

In the next couple of days, while there’s still springlike temperatures, the sage and the bougainvillea will explode with blossoms…one last chance to pollinate before the nights get too cool.

Tonight, I’m grateful for jets watching over us, for unexpected showers and for sleepy dogs.

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I’m participating in #30DaysofThanks. If you’d like to join in, blog, Tweet or post a picture of something that you are thankful for each day in November. Be sure to use the hashtag, #30DaysofThanks

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