Several Indians got together and asked their Chief in autumn if the coming winter was going to be cold or not. Not really knowing an answer, the Chief replied that the winter was probably going to be cold and that the members of the village were to collect wood to be prepared.
Being a good leader, the Chief then went to the next phone booth and called the National Weather Service and asked, "Is this winter going to be cold?"
The man on the phone responded, "This winter is going to be quite cold indeed."
So the Chief went back to speed up his people to collect even more wood to be prepared. A week later, he called the National Weather Service again, "Is it going to be a very cold winter?"
"Yes", the man replied, "it's going to be a very cold winter."
So, the Chief goes back to his people, and ordered them to go and find every single scrap of wood they could find. Two weeks later, he called the National Weather Service once again: "Are you absolutely sure that the winter is going to be very cold?"
"Absolutely," the man replied, "the Indians are out collecting wood like crazy!!!"*
The winter of 2013-2014 will go down as one of the most memorable in recent history. Parts of our country experienced repeated poundings by winter storms, with records snowfalls and much colder than normal temperatures.
Here in East Tennessee, we have had more than our share of all these things. In fact, somewhere between global warming and polar vortices, we experienced numerous bitterly cold nights (with single digit temperatures) and several snow falls, with one of these being the worse we have had in decades.
And while the snow is a beautiful thing to see, at this point in the game, I am convinced that about the only people happy to see any more of it are the folks who sell salt and brine for melting frozen precipitation on the roads and walkways.
I will say that I feel for the people over at the weather office. They are invariably under a tremendous amount of pressure to get their forecasts out, and to do so ever more quickly and with ever more accuracy. And yet, even with the aid of modern computer based modeling techniques, forecasting the weather can never be an exact science. There are simply too many variables.
One thing is for certain, though. Shortly after God first destroyed this old earth in a great flood, He promised us (in Genesis 8:22) that: "As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease."
And because of this, I, for one, am glad to see March arrive. Because March generally means less cold and more heat, which therefore means seedtime, and thus, the beginning of spring. And in my book (especially after a winter as harsh as we have now had), the flowers of spring will be much prettier than yet another blanket of snow.
*JOKE SOURCE: http://www.jokesabout.net/winter-cold-winter.