02/14/10 — Winter, Take 2

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Winter, Take 2

By From staff reports
Published in News on February 14, 2010 1:50 AM

Big fluffy snowflakes started falling on Wayne County Friday night and residents awoke Saturday morning to a picturesque landscape of white as nearly six inches snow blanketed the county.

Snowfall amounts across eastern North Carolina ranged from eight to nine inches along the coast to between two and four in Raleigh to about two inches near the Virginia border.

Much of it had melted by late in the day. Forecasters are calling for another storm Monday, but the National Weather Service said Saturday night that Wayne should get only rain.

Saturday's snow made for perfect impromptu outdoor sports, from sledding to snowball fights to snowman-building competition.

Near midday, Melissa Taylor and her children, Jasmine, 9, Shaquan, 12, Kierra, 8, and 10-year-old Alexis Taylor, were sledding on boogie boards near the U.S. 70 overpass at Spence Avenue.

The sledding wasn't quite as fast as during the ice storm two weeks ago, they said, but the landings were softer.

Jasmine said she woke up, looked out a window, and knew it was going to be a good day.

"I went to my mom's room, and I looked out the window, and I said 'Oooooh. It's an even bigger snow than the last time.'"

"I've seen snow maybe about four times, and two times this year, which is awesome," she said.

After whipping up some old-fashioned snow cream -- a delicacy made with fresh snow, sugar and vanilla extract -- Mrs. Taylor set out for the hillside with her four youngsters.

Kierra, sporting a beaming smile, said sledding "feels like a big roller coaster."

Not too far away, Kenneth Smith said he enjoyed Saturday's weather much more than the last icy storm.

"This is the way it's supposed to now -- off the roads and on the ground. I'm not crazy about the ice," Smith said.

Not everybody was as impressed with Saturday's snow.

Breanna Vanlue, 14, a Norwayne Middle School student who lives in the Edgebrook subdivision, wondered what all the fuss was about. A native Virginian, she has lived in Wayne for about four years and still doesn't understand the excitement that accompanies an eastern North Carolina snowfall.

"I think it's kind of crazy. It's like they've never seen snow before," she said.

In Fremont, at Sabrina Payne's home just across the road from Charles B. Aycock High School, two snowmen -- one leaning at a rather extreme angle -- were erected in a front yard.

Ms. Payne's niece Alycia, 9, was there to play with Jurney Rouse, the daughter of Ms. Payne's boyfriend, Brandon Rouse.

The Paynes and Rouses first had the intention of building a whole family of snowmen, Ms. Payne said.

"Then we got distracted and started having a snowball fight," she admitted, stopping occasionally to hurl another hand-packed projectile.

Many youngsters were getting their first real taste of the kind of snow that lends itself to snowcream and snowmen.

Saturday morning was the first time Cami Nichols, 2, had seen such powdery snow at her home on Slick Rock Road.

But Cami's father was not able to be there to see his little girl enjoying the day -- he is overseas serving in the armed forces.

But her mother, Lisa, still planned to capture the moment for him.

"Her daddy is deployed right now, so we came out to ... take photos and send them to him," Mrs. Nichols said.

Mrs. Nichols and Charlene Grady helped Cami build a snowman and then dressed it in some of her father's gear, including a camouflage jacket and even a pair of boots.

They named him "Sgt. Snow," Mrs. Nichols said.

"We wanted to make a tribute to Daddy. We're going to put the photos on Facebook so he can see them," she said.

In the village of Walnut Creek, best friends Tate West, 7, and Christian Yarborough, 9, were performing architectural stabilization on their snowman, who was leaning precariously to one side.

After packing some snow around the base, it seemed much more solid, they decided.

"We need something for his arms," Christian said, shaking the snow off of a fallen pine tree branch.

Meanwhile, in the New Hope Road area, Katlyn Smith, 12, was busy checking out the competition as her father, Corey Smith, rolled sections of snow to make a snow fort for his children.

Katlyn wandered over to where her sisters Meara, 13, and Courtney, 14, were working on their own snow fort.

But it wasn't an innocent visit, as her friends Samantha, 15, and Melanie, 12, soon realized.

"You took our snow!" Samantha yelled, chasing after Katlyn, who carried a mound of the icy construction commodity in her hands.

The scene quickly turned into a free-for-all snowball fight, but Smith kept on working.

"It's been my day off. I get to play with the kids," Smith said.

Near Scott Street, Matt Dant and Misha Hull had planned ahead to make the most of the Friday night snowfall. Dant spread a large tarp over his front yard to collect the snow. On Saturday, they had more than enough of the white stuff to make several practice snowmen before working on a large one for the front yard.

Dant, 44, said it was his first snowman. Normally, Wayne snow is too dry or is mostly ice, he said, making it hard to sculpt. However, this time was different.

"This is perfect snow. I can work with this."

Shawn Mead and Michael and Crystal Barron were also playing in the snow on Slick Rock Road, building a snowman and tossing snowballs at each other.

But there was something a little unusual about their snow sculpture. The pine cone nose was typical enough, but the eyes and smile of the snowman started life as beer bottle tops.

"We didn't have any buttons," Shawn explained.

Mrs. Barron, a Texas native, said she wasn't used to snow and the winter weather had caught her off guard.

"I was scared to drive. I haven't seen it fluffy like this," she said.

Some people couldn't stop to enjoy the sight of snow-covered fields, houses and barns. Sammy Williams of Tidewater Energy in Seven Springs spent the morning delivering oil to residents running low on heating fuel. He stopped around noon to get some lunch before going back out.

Fortunately, driving conditions were fairly good, and the roadways -- even the backroads -- were mostly clear by late morning.

"The roads have not been too bad," he said.

For Sheriff's Office Deputy Randy Thompson, it was a day off and that meant playing outside with daughters Macey, 4, and Abigail, 5, and niece Ricki Lane, 5.

"Hey, no fair!" Macey complained to her father, after getting hit by a well-aimed snowball.

Laughing, Thompson gently tackled his daughters to the ground.

"I'm coming to rescue you!" Ricki called to her cousins, running up to toss a snowball at Thompson from point-blank range. Her target got a face full of snow. She ran away, giggling.

Graham Luckett and Nikki Fish, students at Wayne Community College, were rolling snow into the base for a massive snowman in their front yard near N.C. 111. The first two sections were already almost as tall as they were, and they weren't sure how they were going to heft one giant snowball on top of the other to put the sculpture together.

"We'll figure that out later," Ms. Fish said.

In Mount O live, Giovanni Nelson was helping build a snowman with her father, Ryan. Their neighbors, Wade and Heather Wright, had built one so they felt the need to try to create one as well. Nelson said when they finished they planned to warm up with some hot chocolate.

Giovanni said she hoped the snow would stick around so that school would have to be closed Monday.

"Maybe it will stay here and I can make two (snow) people," she said.