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Indio, California: Back in Indio, we hit every emotion today. Up and down. Happy and sad. Boom. Gloom. Doom. Zoom. Today would have been My Mom's 79th birthday. Overnight the Coachella Valley suffered through the worst sand storm in 25 years. This afternoon, bombs exploded around the finish area of the Boston Marathon.

The wall screens were down overnight, so apparently only the best and finest grit worked its way into our casita. I hope this photo shows how thick the grit was on the furniture.

Does this photo show the sand dunes that appeared overnight inside our covered pavilion?

The thing about this dust is that it doesn't exactly go away. You can dust the table, and most of the grit falls to the floor. You can wipe-down the table, and it seems you are only spreading-around mud. After you wipe, dust, wash and dry... ten minutes later, the wind had settled another coating of grit on the surface.

We heard the sand storm was so horrific the hipsters were leaving the festival last evening and the Red Hot Chili Peppers could not keep their instruments working. Even DT did not exercise today. We could not see Joshua Tree National Park from our campsite.

Dust was everywhere. Inside your eyes, mouth and hair.

We are so happy (insert sarcastic sneer here) we had our RV washed Friday afternoon, because today our bus resembled a camper parked in the desert for a month: a coating of dust everywhere.

My Sister - here on vacation - had to work for her coffee this morning. We spent 90 minutes cleaning the sandy grit from our casita and fifteen minutes later, the casita needed another wipe-down. In all our years of visiting Palm Springs, we have never witnessed such a sand storm.

As a "thank you for flying all the way to Palm Springs only to witness a horrific sand storm" gesture, we took Sister Renee to the Oasis Date Garden and then to lunch at El Mexicali Cafe.

Only the best for visiting family.

Because you haven't lived if you haven't been shaken from your chair by a train passing fifteen feet from your restaurant table.

I don't know if you all remember, but Mexicali (in Mexico... just over the border... a few miles south of here) has a huge Chinese population. The Chinese settled in Mexicali to work in agricultural irrigation canal and railroad construction and have integrated themselves into the local culture. Assimilation often shows itself in food... which is why El Mexicali Cafe is famous for their peppers stuffed with shrimp... served with soy sauce and mayonnaise.

It's how things happen down here.

I told our server (most everyone working at El Mexicali is a member of the owner's family) I wanted two chicken tacos ala carte. She told me I wanted them fried (not soft), so I went with her advice.

Great advice. Delicious.

The rest of the afternoon was spent worrying about friends working at the Boston Marathon or friends running the Boston Marathon. We were most concerned for Lauren Fleshman, who was working the expo and is 7 months pregnant. I can't even explain our relief when we learned our friends running the marathon were safe or when we finally read a tweet (from her husband) stating Lauren was safe. Read a column Lauren wrote about her experience.

But too many did not receive happy news from their loved ones today - because a hate-filled person plotted to destroy lives, tradition and the integrity of the One True Sport. Shooting kindergarteners? Blowing up runners? What is happening? Why?

Until my next update, I remain, your gritty correspondent.

RV PARK:  Motorcoach Country Club - The Crown Jewel of Motorcoach Resorts. 400 sites, three pools, three spas, fitness center, golf, bocce ball, tennis, 2-mile waterway, fine-dining restaurant, bar, security, planned activities, perfectly maintained. Sites for sale or rent.