Flying nuns: Sisters join kids using cardboard as sleds

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Three nuns at sledding hill

Molly Wright

Left to right: Sister James Karol, Sister Maria Sosa, Sister Mary Gabriel took makeshift sleds to Granger Meadows.

Think back to snow days when you were a kid. You wake up at an oddly comfortable hour, and the panic sets in. Have you missed the bus?! Then you look out your window and you see it. Snow. Everywhere. You kiss the spoon under your pillow and thank the ice cubes you flushed the night before. It’s a snow day, and you cannot wait to go play with your friends. 

Last week, the Lansing area experienced 13.3 inches of snow, beating a 122-year-old record of 13 inches set in 1900. Schools closed.

Teen on sledding hill

Molly Wright

Spencer Estill: “Awesome.”

Spencer Estill, an 8th grader at Waverly Middle School said the back-to-back snow days were “awesome.” 

For many residents, a snow day means the perfect opportunity to go sledding at Granger Meadow Park in DeWitt.

“My son loves it here; you know the two snow days have been pretty amazing. He has his buddies here today, so he is excited. He loves that,” said Matt Essel, who brought his family here two days in a row. 

The park has an impressive 70-foot sledding hill with stairs , an ice rink, and a smaller hill for little kids. 

“This is a really good hill, I do like it, although I wish it had an elevator or something,” said Matt Estill. “I think it’s a little icier today, a little faster. Yesterday you were getting more snow in your face when you were going down, it was more powdery,” said Essel. 

Granger Meadows is fast and steep enough to attract adrenaline junkies of all ages and backgrounds. 

Sisters Mary Gabriel, Maria Suso and James Karol, nuns who serve and teach at Resurrection School and Lansing Catholic High School, came to Granger Meadows.

Sister Mary Gabriel said, “These are makeshift sleds from home because we didn’t have anything on hand, but we wanted to take advantage of the slope, so we just found what we thought might work and they have been doing well so far.”

The nuns are all from the South, where snow was not a common phenomenon growing up. 

“I love snow because I grew up in Austin, Texas, and whenever we had snow there it was a big deal. It didn’t last very long so it was always something that was a treat for us, and ever since I moved to Michigan, I still have that childhood feeling, you know, that excitement of snow and the fun of it,” said Sister Mary Gabriel. 

KIds on snow hill

Molly Wright

Granger Meadows has everything to brighten up a snow day: a 70-foot sledding hill with stair access, a smaller hill and skating.

Editor’s note: The name of the high school has been corrected.

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