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Something Good in Salzburg and The Sound of Music

Reverend Mother’s wrinkled, habit-shrouded face loomed gigantic on the screen of our town’s old-fashioned movie palace. So did Austria’s grand peaks, meadows, steeples and bell-towers. Peggy Woods and the Alps made me cry when they came figuratively together in “climb every mountain…” I was seven years-old.

My brand new Sound of Music soundtrack nearly wore out after that – played innumerable times over the years, and I mean repeatedly on many, many days, back to back, hour after hour. Since I-Pods had yet to be invented, Peggy and I were ensconced in the dining room where the family stereo sat in the middle of the house. And since personal ear or headphones had yet to become ubiquitous, the whole family had to listen too: not just to birds and bells, nuns and children, but to ME.

I sang along at the top of my lungs—or--a better way to describe it would be that I PRACTICED at the top of my register: the most assiduous, persistent, unremitting pupil Julie Andrews, Richard Rogers, and Oscar Hammerstein ever had. They made me into a real singer and performer and eventually, a director of musical theater. And though this passion literally formed what I did with my life, it made something even more important of me: a wife and a mother.

My son, who recently graduated with a degree in Human Development, interviewed his dad and I for his final project. This Musing makes me realize I should have answered his questions about the factors influencing my approach to parenthood with four words: The Sound of Music -- though it might have looked a little loony in an academic paper. It’s true though. Maria Von Trap was the model by which I mothered and now grandmother: adoration, discipline, playfulness.

The movie and the real story behind the Sound of Music became the lyrics of my life, while the melodies became the underscore. When tough times or big assignments loomed larger than life, the Alps and Reverend Mother saved me.

Imagine then, what it meant to tour Salzburg, Austria this spring, close to the end of our thirteen month assignment in Europe…

Yeeeeesss….my Captain and I kissed right in front of THE glass gazebo. Nooooo…we are too old to leap from bench to bench and sorrrry…but we didn’t hear thunder. However -- if tears can count as raindrops, and if full hearts can sub for moonlight, then our little scene was just as moving as Christopher's and Julie’s.

Holding me tight, he whispered, “I must have done something good.”

I looked up at him and smiled.

 “We must have followed the right rainbows.”

And there we stood, heads spinning with memories of us and four kids: bouncing on beds, dancing on stairs, racing on bikes, hiking up mountains, swinging from trees, singing on lakes. We suddenly couldn’t wait to get back to them – and the five newest members our little troupe.

Raising a family.

Isn’t that what the Sound of Music is all about?

Mona shares and teaches romance at Mona's Musings with a Hint of Romance. She is the mother of four plus three and grandmother of two and the award-winning author or With Mine Own Hand: The Musical Account of Nephi. For a daily Hint of Romance (every wife needs one) go to Mona's Musings on Facebook.

Photos of Mona and Dale in Salzburg by Mona and Dale

"The Sound Of Music" cast reunion on the Today Show, 10 Nov. 2010-Part 1

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