I'm not sure if these French-Canadians are very smart or very lucky or both. But they managed to escape harsh northern weather just before autumn unexpectedly transformed into winter. Early, very early.
As I write this blog, the temperature in Montreal is 26 degrees Fahrenheit, or minus 3 Celsius. Look at that any way you like, Fahrenheit or Celsius. It's darned cold. On Thursday morning, snow showers are predicted. Of course, Canada is hardly alone in shivering through mid-November. We all know about the new polar vortex, which now seems to be called the "polar plunge" for some inexplicable reason. Before 2013, everyone simply referred to these events by another term, perfectly fine if less exotic: "winter storms." Maybe today's northerners feel better about the whole thing if they call their storms something that sounds unusually fearsome. I can almost see the t-shirts: "I survived the 2014 Polar Plunge!" Ah, but not South Florida's Quebecers. No, no, no. Many had nestled into their wintertime houses and condos and apartments before the plunge. That's especially true in my part of town. Dania Beach, Hollywood and environs - we have a high concentration of Quebecois snowbirds here. Just the other day, I took a stroll around my condo complex and spotted those telltale "Je me souviens" license plates everywhere. It seemed as if every third parking space had a Quebec car. As I said, these people are either very smart or very lucky. Or both. Right now the temp outside my condo is 61 degrees, high of 68 expected today. Chilly for us, summer for everyone else. Tomorrow our weather climbs back into the mid-70s, then soon into the 80s again. The Canadian exodus to Florida is likely to accelerate if this continues for long, with it all warm down here and all cold up there. I can imagine scores of parents and grandparents waving an early pre-holiday goodbye to their families before motoring south for the next six months. A whole bunch of kids may not have Mom and Dad, Grandpa and Grandma around this December. But that's okay. By February, that same whole bunch of kids will pack their own bags and fly south for a week or two. It's nice to have parents and grandparents smart enough to live in South Florida, even if they're really only lucky.