I experienced monsoon for the first time. I mentioned the drainage concerns earlier. The July rains are heavy here. The clay soil will not accept water. Check out this formula: Heavy rain + no soil absorption = flash flooding.

The real estate developers must set aside land to collect the water until it evaporates or slowly sinks into the clay. The rains are so rare that most of the year these areas double as parks, basketball courts and gardens. When the July Monsoon hits you quickly realize their purpose!

Roads that cross these "washes" become impassable under 18" or more of water. The small yard at the side of the Sharon Drive house becomes a lake for days after a rain.

Photo Album: Monsoon

Sharon Drive

We finally conceded I was not getting a good job until after the house purchase. With expectations reset, we looked and found a property similar to Cedar Rock. It was very close to JDA (1.7 miles) so Karen's commute was great. It was 12 years old (we never had a "used" home).

Photo Album: Moving In

House Shopping

Cedar Rock is still my favorite home. I will miss that place. We lived in a one bedroom apartment for a few months this year. I had forgotten the amount and kind of noises I had grown accustomed to hearing in my apartment years. We quickly decided we needed a place without neighbors above or below us.

Great decision to buy a house. Painful process this time. I had no job and therefore no income. We looked for a while in Fountain Hills at properties that were much nicer than Cedar Rock. We should have been able to afford them on our old combined salary, but I was not able to keep that bargain.

Photo Album: MLS and Shopping

Bloom in the Desert

It is a hot dry desert. Anyone who contradicts that is either trying to sell you a home here or is suffering from dementia. It is not all that bad. The weather is very tolerable all year. Our pool is "operational" all year. We installed a water heater to extend the actual swimming time well into October and as early as April.

It is not a Saharan sand dune style desert. The soil is a hard clay. Plants can grow with irrigation. Water does have to be pumped in form the mountains north and east of the valley. We only get a few days of rain a year. Strangely drainage is a huge problem.

We took some pictures from our temporary home in the Dakota Apartments.

Photo Album: Bloom