18 June 2009

How’s the Weather?

The other day, I had gotten back from a beautiful, albeit short night flight. I went inside a building and sat down at my desk, once again, relegating myself to the grind of the daily job. I had just sat down when I heard someone next to me ask, "Hey, how's the weather?"

"Gorgeous", I replied, referring to the "clear-blue-and-twenty-two" weather I had just flown in, not an hour prior.

"Are you joking?" he asked.

"Oh no, you couldn't have asked for better weather".

The other officer looked at me incredulously, "Just take a look around the room"

The room—buried deep within the innards of a building--had that hazy, smoky look to it that so often happens when dust storms permeate the air of Iraq.

"What the hell?"

Unbeknownst to me, we'd just experienced a "haboob", one of the massive sandstorms that occasionally hits deserts throughout the Sahara and the Middle East, often arising out of nowhere. These sandstorms looked for all the world like a scene from the movie, "The Mummy", in which a massive cloud of sand threatens to envelop a small biplane. They were violent, they were sudden, and they made for a great picture. Of all the times to forget my camera.

(Photo courtesy Wikipedia)

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