As I write this article, on Friday the 24th of June, I notice that the sky is starting to grow dark and I hear the sounds of distant rumble. It is my favorite time of the year! To me, July is a festive month, not only because of the 4th of July celebrations, but also due to the thunderstorms that often happen in July.

Technically, while monsoon season begins on the 15th of June and ends on September 30, the thunderstorms peak in the middle of July to the middle of August. So July, although the warmest month of the year, (in the northern hemisphere), also has the distinction of bringing some relief with the welcomed drop in temperature the rain often brings. Think of the unique smell that happens during and after a storm. What you smell is called “petrichor” (mixed with some storm produced ozone). Petrichor is that well recognized scent produced when rain falls on dry ground. Basically, it is the mixture of the many odiferous molecules that are moved from the ground surface into warm, damp air that the storm brings. Scientific American Online has a great article on this phenomenon:

Don’t you just enjoy the post rain scent and the warm but cooled down July evenings? I am reminded of when I had just retired from military service and moved to New Mexico. The first July storms came, and not knowing that this would be a regular event every afternoon for at least a month, if not two, I ran outside wearing my military issue Gortex rain jacket and pants, to enjoy the warm summer rain (it was coming down hard). I still remember that summer monsoon rain. While I no longer run outside for the rain, I still have special memories of the southwestern summer monsoons.

Special memories can come from memorable evenings, like sitting outside enjoying the 4th of July fireworks following a refreshing rainstorm. In our issue this month, we want to highlight not only our first ever Vail 4th of July “Colossal 4th” parade and celebration, but also the many Vail residents and business that have helped make this event a reality. Do read Pastor David Cook’s article detailing how this event developed and the many organizations and individuals who have played key parts. Four days of fun with a parade, block party, live music, and more! Visit for more information. In years to come, perhaps the Vail “Colossal 4th” will be a time when people have their own special memories.

Also in this issue, in addition to our regular articles, and appropriate as we celebrate the 4th of July, we have an interesting article about Honor Fights to the visit various national monuments in Washington, D.C., for WWII and Korean War Veterans.

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