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Opinion: Clean sidewalks and superb music make a Christmas to remember

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When the first big snowstorm of the season hit in the middle of the night, we were in bed listening to the wind as it whistled around our house. We weren’t sure what to expect when we finally woke up. Looking out the window, it was pitch black except for the white sheet of snow blowing around the front yard.

We waited to emerge from the warmth of our bed. It wasn’t until about 7 a.m. when we heard scraping and voices outside. We weren’t sure what the noise was about, so we got up quickly and looked out the window. There on the driveway were three beanied and booted neighbors scraping the snow off our driveway and sidewalks. We hurriedly dressed and were about to join them to help finish off the work when we were told to stay indoors, “We have this all done.”

We looked down the street and all the walks and driveways of our neighbors were shoveled. “They must have been up for hours,” said Marley. We have always enjoyed great neighbors and have appreciated their help and support, but this was very unexpected and much appreciated.

That same evening, we were treated to a choral concert by the Mountain Ridge choirs. We have been to many, many schoolChristmas programs, but this was akin to a spiritual experience.The auditorium was full as the choral teacher stepped to the stage. The leader was a big man with an immense grin. He motioned for the choir members to stand as he prepared for the first number. He wasn’t just the director; he was also the accompanist extraordinaire. His energy and excitement were contagious. The choir responded to his direction with enthusiasm and joy. Even the most reluctant vocalist was engaged in the music.

Mr Alec Powell, the director, is from the east coast and is an accomplished song writer and musician who has written music for Broadway plays. His gift as a teacher was evident as he was presented a floral gift at the end of the performance by two students. The students and audience applauded and applauded as he was recognized for his efforts. 

I have a deep and abiding love for teachers who inspire, guide, and give their students that extra something that produces great things. The music I heard that night was incredible. Teaching 12-15- year- old students is a challenge at best, but what I heard was almost heavenly. Mr. Powell’s 9th grade combined choir has been invited to participate in prestigious competitions around the state and even country, a credit to his skill and work.

I have been inspired to do better by seeing the efforts of kind neighbors and the work of an inspiring teacher. This has made this holiday season one to be remembered.

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