Thursday, November 22, 2012

HAPPY THANKSGIVING: I'm thankful for fond memories of times past

On most southern farms, in days gone by, the first cold snap signaled the end of summer vegetables and the annual hog killing season. Thanksgiving Day was one the post popular days chosen for this "event". It often was a neighborhood affair with many families participating and reaping the benefits. Because many families were very poor, the meat and other products that came from the hog killing were what got them through the long winters, without going hungry. A great deal of arduous work was involved in the process. From start to finish, this usually lasted all day. People would come from all around and everyone played a part in the big production.
I grew up in the country. My father was a doctor and not a farmer .But I had the amazingly good fortune to grow up with the neighborhood hog killing expert and the annual hog killing site was almost in my backyard! So, every year, from very early on in my childhood, I had a front row seat to one of the most exciting southern events of the year!


There's a chill in the air

And holidays are near,
Thanksgiving's just 'round the bend;
There's a feeling amongst country folks
That's absolute prime,
Everyone senses it's hogkilling time.
Oh what a spectacle!
Oh what a show!
You'll find nothing like it,
If you look high and low.
From sunup to sundown,
It lasts the whole day;
And once it gets started,
Horses couldn't pull you away.
Everyone has his own part to do,
With all the commotion,
It feels like a zoo.
The poor victim for this occasion
Has long been picked out,
And soon will become food,
From his tail to his snout.
There's a shot and a squeal
And he's out for the count;
A cut of the throat,
And blood spews like a fount.
In a barrel of hot water,
He's cleaned and de-haired;
Amongst all the men,
This giant task is shared.
A skillful knife separates all parts of meat,
Including pig ears, pig tail, land pig feet.
The women's task is always chittlin's to make.
There's a boatload of goo and muck
They must rake.
When nightime falls,
All surround the black pot;
Where the oil is bubbling,
And boy is it hot!
Pieces of skin are stirred with a surge,
And after some time,
Crisp cracklings emerge.
Sweet potatoes are roasted,
Right in the fire;
And of these simple treats,
No one ever does tire.
When it's all finally over ,
And the day is all done;
The grown-ups are weary,
But, the kids just had fun.

-2008 Patricia Neely-Dorsey
from Reflections of a Mississippi Magnolia - A Life in Poems

I have many fond memories of a wonderful southern upbringing.
Many of them, I am sure, are similar to yours!
You can find many more of these 

"memory poems" in my book:
Reflections of a Mississippi Magnolia-A Life in Poems.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Thanksgiving is this Thursday!

I am so thankful! I have been truly blessed!
The Thanksgiving Holiday is a perfect time for each of us to reflect on
all of the things we have to be thankful for and to count our many blessings.
This Thanksgiving we should all express our "Thanksgiving" sentiments to friends and loved ones..and most importantly to the "One" from whom all blessings flow.


When I look back on my life,
I think how wonderful it has been;
To have had the most wonderful parents of all,
And a host of wonderful friends.
My high school days were blissful,
And my college days so fun;
Fond memories are one thing for sure,
That I have by the ton.
I'm so glad that I grew up,
On Mississippi sod,
My t-shirt reads: "American by birth,
And southern by the grace of God."
My life has been so wonderful,
I wouldn't change one condition;
As one friend of mine always says,
I should have paid admission.

-from Reflections of a Mississippi Magnolia-A Life in Poems
Copyright 2008 Patricia Neely-Dorsey

Monday, November 12, 2012

Can't We ALL Just Get Along ????!!!

We have just emerged from a very brutal Presidential campaign season . Many people are still very upset about the outcome.
During the campaign, I saw some of the most racist, angry, nasty , degrading comments , posts and rants on many of my Facebook "friends" pages.
Most of them know that I don't allow negative or political arguments on my page .
That was generally respected.
However, one day, one of my Facebook friends decided to respond to another comment from a "friend" with a political rant which also had some very derogatory language aimed at black people. I could not help but respond.

I later wrote on my Facebook page:
I can't believe that one ridiculous comment got me ALL out of character yesterday addressing some foolishness ...which I usually never do. But, so many of my dear, sweet Facebook friends chimed in on a comment ,that I made about a derogatory comment posted on my page ,as if they needed to protect , defend or shield me from something. ...or maybe comfort and reassure me . I really have to chuckle at that ! There was absolutely no need !
I know who I am . I am confident about who I am. I appreciate ,who I am and I absolutely LOVE who I am...and Sistergirl can ALWAYS take care of herself !! Trust !! LOL!!.

The comment wasn't even really directed at me... other "friends" were commenting back and forth between each other. But , I do appreciate the sentiment of my overprotective friends, though ! LOL!!! It was kind of cute !

One of my sweet older (white) male Facebook friends was complimenting me, a while back on my positive attitude and the things I was saying and doing to promote the state.
He went on to say that he admired me and thought that it would probably shock , surprise and sadden me the things that are said behind closed doors (in terms of race)
I assured him that I have/had heard it ALL and that those things are not as "behind closed doors" as he might think.
Trust me, you cannot be an almost 50 year old black woman raised in the south (as I am) ...and NOT have heard it all !!!

I posted a comment yesterday, really in jest ...tongue in cheek after all the hoopla ...about letting everyone know that I am black.  It was a joking/half serious way of saying don't bring negative things about black people that you feel /say/believe on MY page. (You know ..the things said at the dinner table, in the back room , at the family picnic or at a political rally when you think the mic is off...Yeah THAT stuff! )
All of this "race stuff" makes me REALLY tired !!!!!!

It seems that in 2012 we would have/could have /should have progressed or "evolved" SO much further than we have with race relations and in issues of race period.  In my life and in my world it would be WAY too complicated for me to think of /look at people, relationships, personalities, circumstances ect only in terms of black and/or white.  I just don't .
My brother is married to a white woman. (Shout out to you sister-in law...Shari! )
I have two beautiful, intelligent, extraordinary, unbelievably wonderful little nephews ..who happen to have a black mother (my niece ) and a white father (her husband) .
My son's BFF /Best Buddy and neighbor since third grade is white .
He comes over to the house almost every Saturday. In fact , they are in there playing X-Box games right now!

And what ??!!! Do you think that I think/treat/judge/see any of these relationships in terms of black or white. I don't.
And, I don't see the relationships /people outside of my family in that way either .

I will say this, , if you have problems with people or dislike/hate/judge people solely based on race/color, I would suggest that you not look too far back in your genealogy (especially in the south) .  You might get some RUDE awakenings!

Diversity is/can be a BEAUTIFUL thing !

My friends know that one of my favorite sayings is:
Don't Hate ! Appreciate !
That really is my best advice !
That was my advice that day ...and it remains.

Can't we all just get along?

Friday, November 9, 2012


The 2013 Mrs. Mississippi Pageant will be held this weekend,
November 11, 2012 -3:00 p.m. at the GoldStrike Millennium Theater in Tunica , Mississippi.

Check out the program book :

I participated in the 2012 pageant last year and had a wonderful time! It was a very enlightening/enriching experience and I met some wonderful new "pageant girl" friends ! 

                                 ~ Here are some photo memories ~

Program book photo

Arrival outfit-Diva on a Dime style




At Orientation with "Pageant Buddy" Alison Dossett from Tupelo.
She is the current Mrs Mississippi 2012

Before Saturday practice

Before Saturday night banquet 

Patricia and 2 contestants

Preparing for Opening number  

Diva in gown