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Snow Brings Out The Sleds And The Smiles

Presley Averwater laughing down a hill.

by Matt Wright

Kids were already out of school today for President’s Day so there was plenty of time to get prepared for a historic winter event for Lakeland and the surrounding areas. Like Christmas Eve, kids of all ages went to bed knowing something magical might be waiting for them in the morning. And magical it was, with nearly every kid, including many “grown” ones, sliding down anything resembling a hill that Lakeland had to offer today, February 15, 2020.

Jackson and Chase Buckalew (left) and Quinn Wright (right).

Bryan Buckalew said his kids Hallie (8), Chase (11), and Jackson (13) were all three ready to go early this morning. “They had a fun day sledding with friends in Oakwood (neighborhood) and then finished it off with a few runs down the levee by Garner Lake.” Mr. Buckalew continued saying “I saw a bunch of family friends at the lake levee. It’s been so long since we’ve had snow like this in Lakeland I know the kids will remember this for a long time.” He emphatically added, “Today was a good day!”

Families enjoying the hill at IH Clubhouse.

With the National Weather Service reporting that Lakeland had already received 4.5 inches of snow by 1 p.m. this afternoon, kids and families had no shortage of options. While grassy hills were the popular choice for most kids today, Cayden Lancaster (14) and her mother Misee, pulled out their sleds and slid right down the middle of their cove located on Garner Lake. “It’s been fun,” the high school freshman said. Cayden seemed to have perfected the “superman” slide down Elm Point Cove and reminded everyone to “enjoy every moment that God gives you.”

Cayden Lancaster shows off her “superman” slide.

While many kids could be seen roaming all over Lakeland today looking for that next secret sledding spot, many families bundled up in the freezing temperature and made the trek out together. Jenny Kiesel, her family and their friends, the Greens, enjoyed several hills in Plantation Hills around noon today. “Plantation Hills has some great sledding hills,” Mrs. Kiesel said, adding “we are hoping for it to compact more for some faster sledding fun this week.”

Kids enjoying a day of sledding on the Garner Lake levee.

With school already canceled for tomorrow, and many expect possibly the entire week, kids are heading back home this evening to get something to eat and rest up so they are ready for more action tomorrow. “I can’t wait for tomorrow” said Carter Holt (11), “it will be just as much fun!”