A chilly winter day for most Georgians would be like summer for those living in International Falls, Minnesota. Last weekend, temperatures in the town known as the “Icebox of the nation,” hovered around 1 and 2 degrees. Get this, there are 199 days during the year when the temperature in International Falls drops below freezing. This brings about recall of my intellectual beer drinking days with my favorite down home philosopher, the late Daniel Hamilton Magill, Georgia Bulldog icon who would often raise a toast to Canada: “Here’s to Canada, queen of the snows. But cold, God knows.”
The further south one goes in most places on earth, the warmer it gets. Right across the border from International Falls is Ft. Frances, Ontario, about as far south as you can go in Canada which, on most days, is as chilly as it is in International Falls where heating bills in the area are only 8.1 per cent higher than the national average.
Based on my knowledge of Canadian lore and trends, I don’t recall ever hearing that anybody has ever retired and moved to Canada. This time of the year when you take to the Interstate and drive to Miami — and down into the Keys — you note that a lot of license tags indicate that the occupants are Canadian residents. Snowbirds, and there are plenty of them.
If you go “down under” to Australia in June and July, the natives will be snowmobiling and singing Christmas carols in those months. Last week, if you watched Australian Open tennis, you noted that the weather was akin to what you might find in Miami.
In Sydney and Melbourne, during our winter months, it is summertime down under and the living is easy. Once at St. Andrews in the month of July, I had an occasion to visit Peter Thomson, the Australian golfer who won the British Open five times, three of them consecutively.
Thomson, in addition to being an annual comby