I know what it is to live entirely for and with what I love best on earth.-Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

Mona's Musings

April 26th, 2011

Salzburg, Austria: Two Dreams in One

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, I’m sure of it. They made me into a real singer and performer and eventually, a director of musical theater–seriously. 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 is graduating this summer with a degree in Human Development, interviewed his dad and I recently by assignment. This Musing makes me realize I should have answered his questions about the factors influencing my 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 and music.

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. My Captain and I have climbed a lot of mountains and forded many a stream. All my romantic self could think yesterday, as we kissed in Salzburg, Austria, was that we’d followed the right rainbows, because we’d certainly found our dream.

In reality, Dale’s experience during that kiss was different than mine because the dream he’d found was different than mine.

We weren’t Christopher and Julie at that moment, but more Wolfgang and Constance. Although he appreciates musical theater, my husband’s primary passion lies in the great composers of the past. Mozart, not Maria, brings him to tears. He cannot even explain how the 23rd Piano Concerto or Symphony No. 38-Prague works upon him, but it stirs both his heart and intellect like nothing else. (Listen to the Musing podcast: My Cup Runneth Over.)

Dale has studied and wondered and been indelibly affected by musical genius, especially Mozart’s. So imagine his feelings as we walked through the Maestro’s town and toured the home he grew up in. His hand gripped mine all the tighter as we gazed upon the very church Mozart played regularly in as organist, and his face became luminous during the concert at the top of Salzburg’s world-famous Hohenwerfen Fortress.

So we spent half the day in my dream and the other half in his: two streams merging into a river of joy. Where else but Salzburg?

Scroll over the photos to enlarge or see descriptions. And go to Mona’s Musings on Facebook for lots more pictures of gorgeous Salzburg.

Hint of Romance

Dream together.

What did you think of this musing?

Join the discussion!


  1. Sara Lyn says:

    Wow! Wow! Wow! I LOVE your pictures! How much fun to both live a dream in the same day – to share it! So beautiful!

  2. Bri Z says:

    Isn’t it wonderful that your dreams run so much together that they led you to the same place?! Grant and I have been talking a lot about the factors that brought us together – dreams for the same kind of marriage, home, family and just life. It feels so good to support each other’s dreams until they run together so much that you don’t know where one’s stops and the other’s begins (or they both begin and end in the same place!) We love you! Keep living up all those dreams!

  3. maritza ardila- perez says:

    Dearest Mona and B. Dale.
    My admiration of this piece of musical and the story writing by you Mona quote by you ” My cup Runneth over” and then you says All my romantic self could think yesterday, as we kissed in Salzburg, Austria, was that we’d followed the right rainbows, because we’d certainly found our dream. You” certainly ” found you “DREAM. Your thoughts of your notes for couples in this page is a marvellous story and in addition you are a real actress to remember. I love you both Maritza. PS, Wonderful story of romance !!!!

  4. Katie says:

    Could a couple be more in love with each other? CUTE!!! hehe…

  5. jane says:

    It looks like you two are having the time of your lives. But I know it is only part of your adventures together. It is so fun to see you enjoying yourselves so much though. You are welcome to use my “poem” if you can call it that. I will have another one tomorrow as well.

  6. Heidi says:

    I ADORED Salzburg! And I, too, went around singing and dancing at the little “Sound of spots.” It was such a wonderfully happy thing, and I’ve never been able to watch the movie since without saying
    “I was there!”
    “I patted his head, too!”
    “I jumped up those stairs!”

    Maybe that should be my next sing-along party. It is such a wonderful musical! Thanks for bringing back the memories! :-)

    • mona says:

      Heidi! I didn’t know you were there! When? How wonderful!

      • Heidi says:

        Salzburg was part of our Sound of America tour. I went in 2000. I considered it my Senior Trip after graduating. That tour was one of the best experiences of my life and it wakened the travel bug in me. Unfortunately, I haven’t crossed on ocean since.

        By the way–I love how you pointed out that you used the real and film Marias as your model. I hope to one day bring that to my own family’s lives, too.

  7. maritza ardila- perez says:

    I’d like to go to Salzburg to spend our holiday with family . Yours pictures are pretty!” Dreams” and Dreams. It’s great!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Love you and Dale………………..

Share your thoughts!

Hide responses