A drop of golden sun

Okay, so here’s something a really good friend will do. Years ago, Rick, Jim and I went to Austria and, yes, we signed up for the Sound of Music tour. And when I say ‘we’ signed up, I mean I signed us up. One of our (my) most prized mementos of the experience was a tiny green bottle of holy water I picked up for a donation at the beautiful church where Maria and Captain Von Trapp were married in the movie. The Basilika Mondsee is breathtaking; somehow smaller than it seemed in the movie, but still quite spectacular. The little green bottle featured handwriting, possibly by the hand of some nun, and a little picture of the Basilika. Fast forward to hauling our Christmas decorations out of the attic last year, only to realize that it had been cold enough to freeze and break the little green bottle. Very sad. My friend Heather announced a couple of months ago that she was going to Austria with her husband Rob and their kids. And that they had signed up for the SOM tour, too! (And yes, ‘they’ really means ‘she’). I told her about the church, not wanting to give away any of the jaw-dropping first impact it would have, but that as a photographer, she would not be able to walk away without dozens of images. And, I said, if they still have the little basket at the back of the church, remember to make a donation and get your little bottle of Weihwasser! She comes home, we meet for lunch, and look what she hands over! Now with a commercial label, the holy water comes in a tiny Jaegermeister bottle, no less. But our Christmas tree this year will be festooned once more with the sound of music. That’s a good friend.

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