Here in Charlotte, we made it through Hurricane Florence unscathed!
We were never going to be hit by a hurricane proper, but the storm was presenting a serious threat of many inches of rain combined with heavy winds causing downed trees and extended power outages. We bought a generator, which we figure is going to be good insurance for the next two decades of still having children at home when we endure power outages. Chris patiently went to the grocery store for me four times that week, buying more supplies and pantry foods. We stocked up on 25 gallons of potable water and we filled a 50-gallon recycling bin with water from the hose to use as utility water. Chris cleared our gutters of clogged leaves and he filled up both cars with gas. He re-organized our garage so that we could park his vehicle in there; our 15-passenger van does not fit in the garage, so we were going to have to leave it outside and hope it wasn't crushed by a towering tree.
John took on some leadership in storm preparations as well, coming up with good ideas, storing extra water, and he asked if he could go around the neighborhood clearing clogged sewers.
|So much pantry food, ready to be raided!|
The rain and winds finally showed up without as much ferocity as we feared, but with lengthy dreariness and ultimately Charlotte received 5" to 15", depending on the area. At numerous times, children went outside to tromp around in rain boots, play in the water flowing through the gutters, or simply sit on the front porch to watch.
|Reading outdoors in the rain|
For my part, I cleaned out a closet, which seemed as good idea as any during a big, loud storm. The walk-in closet of the guest room had become a giant dumping ground so high and expansive that I could no longer open the door all the way. Now, one side of it beautifully houses the children's dress-up clothing, and the other side neatly contains things like suitcases and spare blankets.
I was delighted to be able to read to all my chickadees in one place, them lying about in their sleeping bags. I've been reading to the younger ones and the older ones in two separate groups for several years now, and this evening tickled this mama's heart! Plus all the olders fell asleep at the same time as the younger ones, and I rather wished we could do this every night!
|Reading "Trumpet of the Swan" by E.B. White|
|Thomas brushing my hair while I read|
On Sunday, Charlotte experienced serious flooding, shutting down roads, causing an overnight curfew to be set in place, and the county declared the public schools closed for the third day in a row.
|Limb down in our neighborhood|
|Nearby movie theater parking lot|
|Nearby golf course|
|Sugar Creek about to breach its banks|
Neither this most concerning leaning tree, nor any others, fell on our home. However, numerous homes in Charlotte were crushed by falling trees, streets collapsed, bridges weakened and were shut down, basements flooded, all while we were a city of North Carolina hit lightly.
|Leaning tree stayed rooted|
This week we are adding to our chores the clean-up of a patina of small debris everywhere--and with every bending over and sore back I am grateful that none is truly damaging.