A major snowstorm in 1970 created a perfect wintry scene for my family’s annual Christmas caroling. We donned a colorful array of sweaters, parkas and gloves, topped off with our matching red plaid scarves. Each of us gathered our musical instruments—tambourine, bells, trumpet, clarinet and triangle—and squeezed into the car.
We stood in a semicircle on the first porch and started playing I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day. After the first verse, we continued to the second with even more enthusiasm. But as the trumpet player dramatically built up to a high note, a loud crash abruptly silenced the music!
At first we didn’t know what the commotion was about, but then we saw the trumpet player grimacing and rubbing the back of his neck. The vibrations from the trumpet’s high-pitched note had shattered a large icicle, which fell from the tall roof, hit a porch column and sent a chunk of ice down his back.
When our neighbors opened the door, they were greeted by a loud blast of laughter. They looked quite bewildered, but joined in our good humor after we told them the story. We shared smiles and warm wishes for the holidays and handed them a canister of treats before giggling all the way to the next house.
Carolyn Joyner Freebairn • Salt Lake City, Utah
Photo credit: Library of Congress