I feel a little like Gilligan (even if I look more like Skipper) after the past weekend.
It started innocently enough. Miriam and I had agreed to watch our six-year-old niece and one-year-old nephew for Friday night -- a little longer than a three-hour cruise, but you get the idea.
Then the weather started getting rough, and the tiny tykes were stuck.
We couldn't take them home to North Augusta because of all the ice on the roads, so our one night of babysitting turned into a three-day tour.
Then, the tree limbs started falling all around us.
Then, the tree limbs started hitting the house.
Then the power went out.
That's right: No phone, no lights, no heater there, not a single luxury. Like Robinson Crusoe, it was primitive as could be.
Then, six-year-old Breanna started counting the falling limbs and trees.
Finally, the big branch hit -- shattering some of the overhangs at my house.
And we retreated to my parents' house across town and slept Saturday night. (OK, I slept Saturday night. Miriam -- along with my night-owl mom -- and baby Grayson were up most of the night apparently.)
I should have known we were in for a long weekend early Friday evening when I met Miriam and the kids at Wal-Mart. She was thrilled because Grayson had already had two nuclear diapers on the day -- his normal limit, according to his mom.
"Wait, do you smell that?" Miriam asked, crinkling her nose.
Certainly I did. As did anyone within 100 feet.
We were there to buy a couple of gifts for the kids, and we got the big present.
Twice. He awarded us again later in the evening.
Luckily, I was able to leave the "unwrapping" of both gifts to my ever-capable wife.
In the end, we finally got power back around 6 p.m. Sunday, just a couple of hours after we'd taken the kids home and surveyed the war zone that was our yard. Aside from the roof, one of my back-yard sheds was nailed and there were dozens of limbs laying around. I'm not sure I'll ever get it all cleaned up (though my neighbor Wesley has graciously agreed to pitch in and help, something I'll certainly take advantage of).
But the weekend wasn't all bad. Bree and Grayson are really great kids -- even if the baby enjoys standing in his bed and singing at 3 a.m. And they gave Miriam and I just enough of a child-fix to consider getting a dog instead.
After all, if the weather does start getting rough again, Rover can't count the falling limbs. And his presents don't have to be unwrapped.