"It was a dark and stormy night" is considered the epitome of bad writing, but it was almost the perfect description for what we woke up to today.

It was a dark and stormy morning.

Scary, even – for those of us with something less than an up close and personal relationship with tornadoes, hurricanes and "superstorms." If you live in the path of that kind of weather, what we're experiencing today is a refreshing shower.

But for those of us accustomed to a mild Mediterranean climate – or even the drought and near-drought conditions of recent years – a night and morning of high wind and heavy rain gets our attention.

I had four inches of water standing in the courtyard behind my condo at 10 a.m. My eyeball-estimate said another four inches would bring that growing lake into my living room. So, using my extensive hydrological engineering skills and a shovel, I ventured outside to create a diversion channel and turn the lake into a stream that flows under a fence and away from my home.

We'll see how well that works over the next few days, when up to six inches of rain is expected in Santa Rosa.

Meanwhile, I'll try to remember that being wet and muddy after an hour outside is nothing compared to being homeless, like so many victims of the East Coast's latest disaster. It's not even much of an inconvenience, compared to the hundreds of my Sonoma County neighbors who lost their electricity in today's storm.

For them, it really will be a dark and stormy night.

<i>Chris Coursey's blog offers a community commentary and forum, from issues of the day to the ingredients of life in Sonoma County.</i>