The icicle finally touched down. Three strands reached the ground through last week’s dripping and freezing cycles. They started off pencil-sized, then expanded to the size of magic markers. Ultimately, they thickened to the diameter of forearms.

It was about that time that Julie emailed me a copy of a news story about a huge icicle on a Cedar Rapids apartment complex that plummeted and knocked out a gas meter. We should probably knock down the icicle, she told me. Are you suggesting I aim for the gas meter?, I responded.

So on Sunday after we took a family walk around the block, I fetched a broomstick and started hacking away at the icicle from the bottom. When it was about half gone, I switched to a pool cue-like jab, knocking the ice out toward the yard and away from the gas meter, which is actually located on that corner of the house.

Our son was devastated and began to whimper. Then we told him he could play with the lengths of frozen stalactites. He and his sister dragged them to the ice field that is our front lawn in February (and March for that matter) and began planting them straight up in the snow. By the time they were done, they had a little Stone Henge fashioned from the debris. Julie helped them top it off with a snowman. For pictures, check our photo album.