A Gal Named Florence

Living in Eastern North Carolina, I have seen my share of hurricanes.  They are never fun!  Three times since 1999, our little town has been inundated with flood waters in what they call Major Flood Stage.  This time, Florence was pretty kind to us in our area wind-wise, but she stirred up so much storm surge that it pushed in from the coast up to our town some 75 miles inland.  In fact, the river here was flowing east to west instead of west to east as it normally does.  This storm surge water flooded many homes and businesses, bringing total losses of everything some people owned.  Many folks were still trying to recover from the flooding of Hurricane Matthew just two short years ago.  Now we are a county divided by the flood waters that have occurred by the rising of the river.  It’s kinda like two floods in 1 week.  Many, many people are displaced.  Schools are closed.  Many businesses are closed, which means loss of income for them and no paycheck for many.  It is truly a sad situation.

It is in these dark times that people rally to help one another.  We see no racial, socio-economic divide.  It is simply people helping people; the way it should always be.  Isn’t it sad to think it takes a disaster to draw us together?  Our little town has rallied to the cause and I, for one, am proud of that.

If you follow my blog, then you know I flash-flooded during Matthew.  Because of that, I made preparations this time by moving my things to higher surfaces and by not staying here to ride it out.  I didn’t want a re-play of having to be rescued!  Thankfully, the measures our HOA put in place since Matthew were effective and none of my neighborhood was flooded.  I am grateful!!!

My safe harbor was with my sister, Debbie.  With her husband out-of-state, the two of us rode the storm out at her house.  The night Florence came through, we made pallets out of quilts and slept downstairs on the den floor.  We had our own little sleepover in the pitch dark.  It had been a long, long time since we had done that. My sister is also my very best friend and we do our best to stick together through the thick and thin.

Tough times have a way of revealing just who were really are.  Together we handled a generator (with some neighbor men’s assistance!) and we made decisions on how to best handle different things.  This was our first big event without our daddy and we missed his guidance and assistance.  Although Debbie struggled at first, I saw her rise to the occasion and find strength she didn’t know she had.  We were tough together!!

We also realized how shallow we can be sometimes.  (Ouch!  That hurts.)  Of course, we certainly were not alone.  Social media was almost immediately jam-packed with complaint after complaint of no cable tv, no cell service, no electricity.  People went on rants about the length of time it was taking for electricity to be restored without really giving much thought to those men and women who were out there in tenuous situations trying to make it happen.  Talk about 1st world problems!!!  Perhaps we are all just way too spoiled for our own good.  It is definitely a ME, ME, ME society!

Another thing I noted was just how easy it is for us to disregard the plight of others when we aren’t personally affected.  I am so guilty of this.  When it’s our home, our things, we see it as the worst ever, but if it’s someone else, we have the tendency to slough over it and just go on with our lives as normal.  Maybe we should try to live more intentionally showing concern for others.

And finally, I want to weigh in on something I saw on Facebook.  I know I might get some flack for this, but that’s okay.  I’m going to say it anyway.  Someone I know posted about how bragging about our “good deeds” on social media takes away our heavenly reward. (It’s in the Bible, folks!!!)  The comments to that post are what have me up in arms.  Really, people, can’t we just take things the way they are meant and not try to dissect things into tiny little bits?  What happened to context?  Of course there is nothing wrong with posting pictures of groups out working to help out.  This post was about those folks who list the specific items they took to such and such a place.  Let’s face it, that is just our way of asking for a pat on the back.  We all like to be acknowledged. That’s our prideful nature.  But we need to be careful.  It’s not about us so why make it that.  And please stop using the Judge Not verse out of context!!!!    OK.  Rant over!!

A gal named Florence came and stayed way past her welcome, but we will survive!  For some, it will be a long, long journey, but this community is one that pulls together when there is a need.  I am glad to live here.

Lots of love, Sharon



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