The Sound of Music (Mothers United)

It's funny how when you wake up each morning and never quite truly know what the day will bring.  On Saturday, we made a quick stop into the historic center of Innsbruck to buy a few fabrics and notions.  On the way in, we passed by the Cathedral of St. James (Dom zu St. Jakob).

This is a Baroque, Roman Catholic cathedral built in the 18th century.  With its lavish Baroque interiors, this cathedral is considered one of the most important Baroque buildings in Tyrol.  In addition, two historical treasures are housed here.  

First, the painting Maria Hilf (Mary of Succor) from 1530 is displayed above an alter. It is one of the most venerated Marian images in Christendom.  Here's a list of Marian depictions worldwide.


Second, the tomb of Archduke Maximillian III of Austria, Grand Master of the Teutonic Knights, of 1620 is here in the north aisle.  Seems, he's really remembered for his archducal hat.


A few shots of the cathedral interior - whoa.


Continuing on, we finally made it over to the Old Town square which is primarily visited and photographed for the Golden Roof.  Built in 1500, the roof is covered in 2,738 fire-guilded copper tiles for Maximillian I's third marriage to Bianca Maria Sforza of Mila.  Basically, this was his version of box seating for all of the many festivals and events that took place in the square. 

Not far from the Golden Roof - fun for the girls!  Giant bubbles! Cool!

On Sunday, it ended up being a lovely day (unlike the forecasted rainy day we were expecting).  So, we drove up to the Alpine Zoo.  The Alpenzoo is like taking a nature walk through the forest... going up and down hills (don't wear flats!)... searching for animals (each exhibit is full of greenery and thus, it's often hard to see the animal on display... and you need good eyes (or a pair of binoculars) to find them... and then making a pit stop at a biergarten or playground. 

Of course, we had to feed the animals!

And, pretend we were turtles!

On the drive home, we took the scenic route into the area of Gnadenwald.  Based on Late Iron Age pottery, this area was inhabited during prehistoric times.  Its first written recordings are traced back to 1085!


Incredible, beautiful landscapes... totally reminds me of The Sound of Music.

           [Credit: Link]

Did you guys know, in 1966, this film beat out Gone with the Wind and was the highest-grossing film for five years running?  Happy 50th Anniversary to this "culturally, historically, and aesthetically significant" film!  See the untold story behind the magic here.

Down the road we found the Church of St. Martin - an 11th century hunting lodge with chapel. 

Living here in the Austria...  It's like the opposite of New York City where opportunity is around every corner... here - history is around every corner... you never know what you'll find!  

. . . 


Me and My Mama (1976) Thank you for the strength to create a home wherever I am...

I hope everyone had a lovely Mother's Day weekend.  But, did you know that Mother's Day (originally June 2) was created in the 1870's as a protest to the carnage of the Civil War by the mothers who had lost their sons?  It was originally wished by its creator, Anna Reeves Jarvis, for the women of our country to end the senseless killing... to care for the wounded on both sides.  It was a day for the mothers... for the women... to stand up and protest the ills, the exploits, and the evils they saw happening around them.

"Many middle-class women in the 19th century believed that they bore a special
responsibility as actual or potential mothers to care for the casualties of
society and to turn America into a more civilized nation.  They played a
leading role  in the abolitionist movement to end slavery.  In the following
decades, they launched successful campaigns against lynching and consumer
fraud and battled for improved working conditions for women and protection for
children, public health services and social welfare assistance to the poor.
To the activists, the connection between motherhood and the fight for social
and economic justice seemed self-evident."

For thirty years, this purpose was clear and maintained.

That is until, in 1913, Congress changed the date to the second Sunday of May, and as the markets addressed the mother as the primary 'consumer' of the household, big business saw this as an opportunity to create an industry big on flowers and platitudes.  This year, the U.S. floral industry is expected to make $2.4 billion on just flowers!  Imagine where that money is really needed.

While I definitely don't want to take the spotlight away from the hard work of mothers, I'd like to encourage that we remember the original purpose of this day.  Many mothers enjoy getting flowers... but there are many who need more than a bouquet or sweet sayings.  Many mothers, many women, out there need prenatal care, postpartum care, childcare, maternity leave, general health care, jobs - it's not easy for everyone.  Let's try to give a helping hand to women whenever we can!



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