She was big, dressed in black from head to toe, and she bellowed beautifully. Her standing ovation was thunderous.

And she wasn’t even the lead performer.

There were seven children, a singing captain, a dancing delivery dude, a villain, a scheming fiance and Maria (how do you solve a problem like Maria?). Lovely, innocent, melodious “pre-nun” Maria sent to save the captain’s children from their loneliness and slide into terrorism (only of their nannies).

You know the story? It’s the slightly dramatized story of the Von Trapp family of Austria as the country is being manhandled by the storming Nazi machine.

It is “The Sound of Music.”

This week we attended the Broadway performance of this classic story that has moved audiences for just over 60 years.

My dad was raised in a very conservative home in the ‘40s and ‘50s and wasn’t allowed to go to movies. However, after he met my mom she introduced him to the big screen and snuck him in to see this amazing true story. He has loved movies ever since.

I grew up watching “The Sound of Music,” as it was one of our Thanksgiving-Christmas traditions.

Hence, I love musicals. But, let’s be real, they are tad bit odd. You know what I mean? People breaking into song in the middle of a conversation and they begin dancing and twirling about the room.

However, nothing moves us quite like music. Something in us shifts when we hear melodies and harmonies arranged to draw our souls into the story.

Music lifts us, moves us, inspires us, teaches us, reminds us.

From Beethoven to Beyoncé and beyond, music has touched us in some way.

In “The Sound of Music,” Hammerstein and Rodgers wrote songs like “Climb Every Mountain,” that inspires Maria (and each listener) to search “high and low, follow every byway, every path you know. ‘Til you find your dream, a dream that will need all the love you can give, every day of your life, for as long as you live.”

As Maria faces the biggest challenge of her life she sings (and dances) to:

“I have confidence in sunshine, I have confidence in rain.

“I have confidence that spring will come again! Besides what you see, I have confidence in me.”

Undoubtedly, my favorite song in this musical is the most simplistic but perhaps has the strongest message for me. Maybe you’ll recognize the lyrics:

“Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes, snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes,

silver-white winters that melt into springs. These are a few of my favorite things.

When the dog bites, when the bee stings, when I’m feeling sad

I simply remember my favorite things and then I don’t feel so bad.”

I want to be inspired to climb every mountain in search of meaning and there are times I need to “sing” myself into confidence. “When the dog bites, when the bee stings, when I’m feeling sad,” I need to recall, out loud, some of my favorite things.

Simply put, it’s an exercise in thankfulness.

Being thankful, and expressing thankfulness, changes our lives. The “dog” is going to bite, eventually. The bee will sting, someday. But when we look around and begin to name our “snowflakes,” we don’t feel so bad.

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Larry and Linda Kloster sponsor this column.


Community News Editor

Sally Ann Shurmur arrived at the Star-Tribune to cover sports two weeks after graduating from the University of Wyoming and now serves as community news editor. She was raised in Laramie and is a passionate fan of Cowboys football, food and family.

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