Monday, 4 February 2013

The Groundhog Gale of '76

I am so excited!  Today, I am proud to present my very first grown-up, guest blogger (there was that one time that Avery posted for me . . . eeek!), and it is none other than my dad, Kurt Skov-Nielsen.

Three cheers for Papa Skov!

Hip, hip . . . hooray!

Hip, hip . . .  hooray!

Hip, hip . . . hooray!

The brooding poet on his Harley

Many of you comment on how talented I am, but trust me, compared to the other 4 Skov's (my dad and three siblings), I was definitely last in line when the writer's gift was handed out.  Each of them are published poets, and I marvel at their talent.

On Saturday, February 2, 2013 (aka Groundhog Day) my dad posted one of our family's stories on Facebook about the Groundhog Gale that hit our city in 1976.  This is a story I grew up hearing and have always cherished.  I hope you enjoy it too!

Take it away, dad!

Everyone in Saint John has a Groundhog Day Gale story. Thirty seven years ago today, I drove my '67 Chrysler to the General Hospital to bring Elaine and our 6 day old daughter, Krista, home. Gale force winds had knocked over hundreds of poles across the city. Power was out at the "General", so we had to walk down 5 flights of dim, emergency lit stairs with our first born. The car rocked and swayed with each 160 km/h wind blast as homeward we crunched over broken glass and under live, dangling wires. For the next 5 powerless days, as temperatures dipped into the minus 20s, we snuggled Krista in between us in bed to keep her warm. Each morning we packed up the Chrysler with diapers, bottles and Pablum to spend a few warm hours beside a fireplace or woodstove in various relatives' kitchens. And thus we began. Out of love and a storm that is forever recited as part of our family's mythology.

See, so poetic!  I just don't have the same way with words.  According to Baby Girl, my harshest but most helpful critic, my writing is filled with cliches.  In fact, she even goes so far to say that I  am nothing but one huge cliche.  What's that supposed to mean?  Grrrr . . . . teenagers!  

Anyhoo . . . .

I can't help but tear up each time I think of my parents, brand-new to this thing called parenting, snuggling up on either side of me, trying to keep me warm.  I must have felt so safe; they must have been so scared!  Growing up, my parents often teased that the Groundhog Gale was God's warning to the world that I had arrived . . . tee hee!  But, I think, God had to make their first foray into parenthood a little extra challenging just because He knew how easy I was going to be for them to raise!

(Under no circumstance is anyone allowed to question my parents on this matter.  This is my blog, my story, and I am sticking to it.)

Thank you Mom and Dad for all you have done for me, from sharing your gifts and talents to always keeping me safe and feeling loved.

You're the best!


  1. People often ask me if I remembered the Groundhog Gale....How old do these people think I am??? I would have only been 1 year old so I may have any recollection of the storm, but I do remember sitting up with my grandmother until the wee hours of the morning 15 years later listening to stories :)

    1. Listening to Grammy stories are the best!