What a weekend this has been. Hurricane Florence hit the North Carolina Coast and, so far, there is no telling how much damage was done. Here in Charlotte and the surrounding area, there was a lot of flooding. I've seen pictures of roadways, parks, backyards, and fields all turned into temporary lakes. The effects last, schools and libraries are closed and will remain closed through Monday.

For my husband and I, Florence was an inconvenience. We secured all of my yard art, took plants from the front steps, and tied down the city trash cans. Inside we gathered items in case we had to leave the house quickly; medications, journals, my instruments and most used puppets, electronics, and important work papers.

Our intention was to batten down and wait out the storm in our house, and we did. The power did go out early on Sunday, but that really wasn't a big deal. It was a good thing we stayed because otherwise, we would have had a flooded downstairs. Our gutters were not functioning well, even though they were cleaned out a month ago. I spotted a large pool of water forming against the house. So, Steven and I went out in our raincoats and began to dig waterways and tributaries for the build-up to escape. A creek had already developed on our side yard so we just created a different path of least resistance. We let the pooled water join in the flow (no pun intended). We really got wet, but no big deal; we had dry clothes in the house. The power stayed out until after dark. We emptied a good share of the refrigerator into coolers and lit candles for light.

Florence weakened in strength far more than any meteorologist expected. The impact could have been so much worse. However, this storm for many was a really big deal!

Now is the time to check in with your neighbors. Let's look around and see what we can do for one another. It may not be much but all those little bits can certainly turn into a lot. Everyone who has a challenge has a story to tell. Let's listen to one another.