Slice of Life – A Great Book with Remnants of a Hurricane

August 22, 2023

Lakshmi Bhat at her blog, Mukhamani, recently shared how during a busy time she made time to finish reading a novel. About The Covenant of Water, by Abraham Verghese, she said, “It is one of the best books I have read in recent times.” I wanted a book  that I could say the same about, so right away I went to my Libby app and was able to check out the audio book. The 30-hour novel was narrated by the author, who had amazing voices for all his characters–English in all kinds of dialects–Scottish, British, Indian. Some Malayalam too, and probably other languages (I forget). From the beginning, his wonderful voice kept me enthralled, and then I started falling in love with a young bride named Mariamma and her patient and kind husband; and in Part 2, at first I was disappointed to leave the couple in Kerala, but when the story moved to Scotland, I quickly fell in love with a new character, an aspiring surgeon named Digby.

Taking time to listen to the story each day during the last two weeks was a highlight. I would highly recommend The Covenant of Water by Abraham Verghese. As Oprah said when she chose it for her book club book, “One of the best books I’ve read in my entire life. It’s epic. It’s transportive . . . It was unputdownable!”

I finished the book on Saturday, which was also the day we started watching for Hurricane Hilary (or tropical storm Hilary). She was coming through our area with predictions of  up to six inches of rain. (Our annual total rainfall is about eight inches.) We had some thunder, lightning, and showers on Friday evening, then a bit more on Saturday and Sunday morning. We expected it to be crazy winds and rains; I don’t know why we kept watching for it earlier than they said (which was Sunday afternoon), but we did. It was so long in waiting for it, that we began to think it was not going be so bad.

But by Sunday afternoon, just on schedule, the rain poured, and the wind finally blew. (We had battened down the hatches, shored up our little tree, and put everything away that would have blown to the next town.)  We lost power for a while. Then we went to bed and slept. The storm passed sometime in the night, and Monday morning was sunny. We had a total of four inches of rain over the weekend. It was quite uneventful, but thankfully the weather service prepared us and we followed the advice and stayed home so we didn’t get in on the flash flooding roads.

Schools were closed on Monday, as there were many roads closed. We took a bike ride later on Monday afternoon. On our bike ride, we saw just one uprooted tree, and lots of sand and dirt covered roads. There wasn’t as much damage in our area as there was in the lower desert, like Palm Springs.

This is where our dirt road joins the highway. The loose sand is usually so thick there at the opening, but this time a lot of it washed across the highway.
This is across the highway, the same road, but it’s paved on this side (under that sand).
Here is some of the sand that was removed from the paved road and pushed off to the side. (Here we use our plows for sand rather than snow.)
This is our dirt road farther up and closer to our house. The dirt roads become rivers during storms and leave us to drive on the dry riverbeds.