You could have fooled me!

Spring 2001 CSANews Issue 38  |  Posted date : Mar 08, 2007.Back to list

There might be fewer of you Canadian snowbirds spending the winter in the sun belt, but boy, oh boy, are you active! So you could have fooled me--because, according to my records, there were more Canadian social activities this season than ever before. It didn't matter where I went ­ there you were in your red-and-white attire waving your flags. And I was proud to see that you did it very graciously and respected the fact that you were in a foreign country by also honouring the American flag and anthem. Americans love "Canada Day" in their communities, and they prove it by buying up most of the tickets to attend it! So you should be proud of what you're doing--congratulations!

In my findings, the most popular social activity for the majority of Canadian snowbirds is golf. Golf, it appears, has taken over from shuffleboard and lawn bowling which, in their day, were extremely popular. They still are, but not as much as golf. This past winter, I had more requests for placemats and prizes for golf-related activities than for any other. Can/Am tournaments are very popular, and the participants go all out to represent their respective countries. You see golf carts adorned with flags of all shapes and sizes, you see balloons, funny-looking hats and, yes, even the playing of the anthems from cassette or CD players mounted in the carts. It's quite a sight, and it brings tears to my eyes when I realize just how united and patriotic we are to both countries.

Now don't take me wrong. I'm not condemning other activities, but I believe that golf, especially when you walk the course, offers an excellent opportunity for exercise. Not particularly aerobic exercise, but good all-round stretching, muscle toning and strengthening of most parts of our body which, of course, are so important to us seniors who find ourselves somewhat "stiff" most of the time, right? After 18 holes of golf (I'm sure you'll agree), you're ready for a good rest and, perhaps, a tall, cool, refreshing drink at the 19th hole while you remember some of those exciting shots you made. Or maybe you just go home and collapse into your favourite chair (with a tall, cool one) and strategize for your next game. Personally, I'm guilty of both!

Once again our placemat program was a huge success. More than 100,000 of them were used, and I'm already getting orders for next winter. For those of you who aren't familiar with this service, the CSA and Medipac International provide these very colourful dinner-table placemats that contain crossed flags and the words to O Canada and The Star Spangled Banner. There's no charge, and you can place your order by calling me toll-free, at 1-877-633-4722 from Canada or the U.S.

Did you file your 8840?

I'm still meeting a lot of Canadians who either don't know about it, don't care, or think they're immune to filing a "closer connection" to another country (Canada) for income tax purposes. It's U.S. law that any foreigners, not just Canadians, who spend four months or longer over a three-year period must file a "Closer Connection Exception 8840 form" with the IRS for each spouse by June 15. If you didn't file before leaving the U.S. this spring, the forms are available in this issue or at the IRS Web Site, www.irs.ustreas.gov, scroll down and click on Forms & Pubs.