Monday, June 17, 2013

A Southern Mississippi

 Who doesn't love the film Cat on a Hot Tin Roof about the tempestuous marriage of Maggie, played by Elizabeth Taylor, and Brick, played by Paul Newman? The film is set in my beautiful state of Mississippi in a time when a man's land and wealth and family were everything!  Big Daddy is the perfect southern self-made man.  Proud of his family, his beautiful home, his children and the legacy he plans on leaving them. This is the dream of all southern men....leaving a legacy to his children.  Nothing should stop him from passing on his fortune.  Hold on just a minute and this could be today.  Children rarely embrace the same paths as their parents.  Most have a mind of their own [which is they should] but sometimes, rarely, they do not see the sweat, blood, tears, and prayers that have gone into making their life grand!  Seems to me, the two sons in this saga did not see their daddy's vision. Big Daddy had acquired quite a fortune in his home with the wide porches, furnishings acquired in France and England, and almost everything to fulfill every need of his growing family.  His dream almost turned to disaster when he discovered he was dying, but I like to think the real heroine of the play and film was Maggie, played by Ms. Taylor.  Beautiful, outspoken, feminine, sensual, and smart....she played the southern woman well! Brick, on the other hand, had a severe problem with alcohol and was not fulfilling the role of husband or son very well.  Families fall apart without leadership and most are only one generation away from this disaster.  Big Daddy wanted his family to be grand.  In the end, the real story is sweet about forgiveness and love. We should hope to be better "forgivers".

The porches and the furnishings are TRUE pictures of a grander southern home and time.  There is a city in south western Mississippi that still holds much of the charm and beauty of a by gone era....Natchez.  It is in Natchez that one can still sit on a porch, sip tea or a mint julep or a glass of wine and still enjoy a summer evening like it used to be in the era of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.  This time of year it is so hot in Mississippi.  Almost unbearable at times so even today, homes are built with porches and set among shade trees.  The porches played a huge role in the film as well as the yard where the kids and Big Daddy cooled off with an ice cream birthday party!  Still sounds like a great idea!

Dunlieth Plantation in Natchez Mississippi

A designer's selection of items that might fill the house in Cat on A Hot Tin Roof!
Love the Sofa....Love the Dress....Love the Mirror

Maggie lounges around a lot in her slip in the film....I wish we still did this...lounge around more! :)
The summer heat in the south is definitely a good reason to shed a few layers and lounge.....around the house....most southern women I know just love to be at home.

Southern Women have always been beautifully strong!  We are tied fearlessly to our families and loyal always to the bonds that keep us close.  Traditions such as family reunions, weddings, bridal teas, morning coffee on the porch with a neighbor, and of course church!  Recently someone told me they realized they didn't have to be close to their family....I listened, but I was sort of sad for her.  I think of the bonds of family and friends as the most beautiful gifts God will ever, ever give us. I hope you are one who treasures family ties.  You can be the vessel to bond your family....think about it.  Just a little time and effort and a dinner on the porch!

I feel blessed to be a southern woman, extremely blessed.  I love the elegance of the French and the beauty of Europe but home to me will always be in the South and hopefully, a home with a porch!  Enjoy the life that God has given really doesn't matter where you live as long as you embrace your own path and realize that God designed one especially for you!  Fill your own heart with God's wisdom, the beauty of the earth around you, plant a flower or vegetable garden, love your family and LIVE....everyday is a gift my friend!  A wonderful gift from Heaven above!  Spread some love and joy!  You a little "Happy" Gift!

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