LUMBERTON — The blanket of snow that Robesonians awoke to Wednesday wasn’t quite as much as expected, but just the sight of the white stuff was enough to thrill those of all ages.
Brandon Cox, who works with a maintenance group at Fort Bragg, finished putting the final touches on a snowman he and his 8-year-old daughter Anna Beth built in the front yard of their home on 18th Street in Lumberton.
“This weather is beautiful for the kids,” Cox said. “They love it.”
Adults, many of whom got a day off from work, and children, who didnd’t have to go to school, joined in the fun together.
Cox’s wife, Heather, said that their two children were so excited about the snow that they were outside playing in it at 7:20 Wednesday morning. She said their 11-year-old son went to bed real early Tuesday night so that when he woke up the snow would already be there.
Down the road at Exit 19, where Interstate 95 and Carthage Road meet, the hillside early Wednesday was filled with children and adults sliding down the slope on small plastic toboggans and trashcan lids. Many of the 15 or 20 enjoying the day in the snow were related.
“This is like a family reunion for us. Everyone is here. There’s our children, aunts, uncles and cousins,” said Amanda McDowell, who lives just outside of Lumberton. “Whenever it snows like this, we all meet at Exit 19.”
Lance Davis, a UPS driver, had the day off to enjoy the snow with his sons Austin, 4, and Jackson, 6.
“The kids love snow,” he said.
The boys just nodded as they started sliding down the hill.
Davis, however, had to go to work on Wednesday night. There just wasn’t enough snow to get him some extra time off.
“That’s the way it is,” he said. “I have to work. We don’t get off because of snow.”
In South Lumberton, a fierce snowball fight drew children from all over King Street who were screaming, running and tackling each other in piles of the white stuff.
Sharese Floyd, 10, crossed the street to make a snow angel. Next, she planned to make snow cream — a tasty mix of snow, milk, sugar and vanilla.
For 2-year-old Nyasia, the fluffy white powder was a foreign and fascinating sight as she smashed it between her gloved hands and threw it in the air.
Her parents, Nyisha Bass and Floyd Wafe, were enjoying themselves just as much, helping Nyasia build a sturdy wall of snow, although their winter-gear was no match for the cold.
“We couldn’t find big enough gloves for how cold it is,” Wade said.
Over in the Oaks section of Lumberton, Robbie and Lindsey Revels joined family members in a good old-fashioned snowball fight in their front yard. They enjoyed playing in the snow as much, if not more, than the younger members of their family.
“We needed a day like this,” said Lindsey as she ducked to avoid being a target for a nicely rounded snowball. “Snow is something we don’t get often. We haven’t had much snow for three years.
“It was an awesome day,” she said. “It was made even better because we got a chance to see Vonte Leach (of the NFL Ravens) and get his autograph. He stays in the Oaks. We stopped him as he was driving across the railroad and he gave us his autograph.”
Robbie, who owns Fashion Icons, a clothing store in Pembroke, said that the snow was enough for him to take Wednesday off and stay at his home in the Oaks.
“Well, I still was working on the computer,” he said, “but I didn’t travel to Pembroke.
While the roads through the Oaks early Wednesday afternoon were in pretty good shape, Robbie said that in the early morning roads were a “mess.”
“I’m glad there’s been some scraping and salting here today. The roads are now in pretty good shape,” he said. “But if it gets real cold and freezes tonight, it could be a problem again in the morning.”
Just as likely is that the fun will resume as cold temperatures are keeping the snow around, and the Public Schools of Robeson County are closed for a third straight day.