Sharing Who We Are


Memories are funny.  Without intentionally choosing, we seem to toss out superfluous ones, and often, we somehow manage to condense huge chunks of time into manageable packets that just get pushed to the back of a shelf and ignored.  Other moments sit at the front of that shelf, catching our eye every time we walk by, inviting us over and over again to pick them up and reexamine them.


One field trip with my eleventh grade Art History class fits into the last category. My teacher, Mrs. Prilliman, arranged for a dozen or so other St. Mary’s girls and me to  view the art collection of a friend of the school. We traveled just over a block to a crisp, midcentury modern home, which I had somehow never noticed, and were greeted by the owner. 


I frankly had no expectations other than to enjoy an hour away from school work, but, surprisingly, I still find myself reflecting on this trip. Inside, the James Bond era home contrasted with priceless artwork, ranging from ancient Roman objects, to Japanese silk screens, and bright, modern paintings. Clarence, the owner, warmly showed us through each room, gladly answering questions, and, most surprisingly, inviting us to touch the statues and other works of art. He insisted that he wasn’t worried about our breaking anything and was more interested in our being able to fully explore the fascinating objects. It was marvelous. Having grown up going to art galleries, I was no stranger to the little sirens that sound and stern looks from guards when leaning in too close to a picture.

This was such a different experience. Getting to run my hand over the cold, stone hair of a Roman bust brought the statue into my world and made it real in a way that viewing a carving behind a glassed in pedestal never had. In the living room, students passed around an ancient, bronze figure, and I imagined how many centuries this delicate piece had endured and how many other hands had passed it. It was also aspirational to think that this man lived every day with what we had spent months studying in text books.  It didn’t occur to me until years later that this collection was monetarily priceless. Instead, I specifically remember being amazed to view a Mondrian painting hanging in a hallway because, though the artist isn’t usually to my taste, it really resonated that we had studied this artist only a week earlier. In this moment, a character in my textbook had come to real life, just down the street from the school where I had learned about him.

I find that I am constantly in awe of seeing the authentic origins of what I’ve studied. I’ll never forget unexpectedly finding a copy of Shakespeare’s First Folio exhibited in the basement of Windsor Castle and being aware that because of this book, the literary world is so much richer. I also wondered what it would be like to read an entire play from the worn pages. I understand why this isn’t a plausible scenario, but I always return to the day when the exhibit was hands on.

I only met Clarence once for about an hour and have since learned that he recently passed away, but his invitation to share something he enjoyed with complete strangers has impacted me. Thomas Merton paraphrases Thomas Aquinas in explaining that “the things that we love tell us what we are.” My brief meeting with Clarence told me that he was passionate about history and art, but moreover, he loved selflessly allowing others to fully experience what he found interesting and wanted them to share in the joy those things brought him. An online biography confirms that this impression was true. Our host was a great philanthropist who gave as much of his own time as he did monetary donations.

Such a short field trip left such a lasting impression both from the way I experienced the art around me and from the person who welcomed us into his home. I wonder if I could only spend an hour with someone, what I would share with them, and what my loves would tell this visitor about me.

As we move into the Christmas season, many of us will get a chance to welcome others into our homes. What will we share of ourselves? What impression will we leave for years to come?


An Easy Snow Day Recipe

Make these quick pizza rolls, and get back to playing in the snow:)

What is all this cold stuff?

Quite a few years ago, my family started the tradition of eating Pizza Roll-ups on snow days.

Snow days are a precious time in Memphis. They’re fickle at best and very rarely happen. Actually, the higher the forecasted chance of frozen precipitation, the less likely it will actually fall from the sky. Honestly, you’re more likely to see a polar bear within the city limits…since there is actually a polar bear at the zoo. However, on the few days a year when we wake up to backyards blanketed in two inches of white, we Memphians are prepared for the unexpected.

At the first whisper of snow, the whole town breaks into a palpable panic. The commute home takes twice as long, and every parking space at Kroger instantly fills. Since all Southerners know their cities don’t own snow plows, the fear of being trapped at home or work without food seems real. *Actually, we even apply this understanding to legitimately snow covered lands. I’ll never forget my family worrying by the windows one night watching snow fall in Aspen. We wondered how we would get to the airport the next day only to be astounded when a snow machine had cleared the driveway before sunrise. *

We also know that this frozen world never lasts long. Sometimes all accumulation melts by noon, so anyone wanting to sled has to start early and not waste time slipping and sliding on uncleared streets. This fleeting wonderland also doesn’t leave much time for cooking or eating a meal, which is why Pizza Roll-ups are the perfect solution.    The comfort food combo of pizza and crescent rolls couldn’t be any cheaper, easier to prepare, or yummier…how could anyone turn down this cozy snow day fuel?  Also, cleanup is a breeze, so even grownups can get outside for a snowball fight!

Memphians, if you’re already on your way to Kroger to stock up on milk and bread for the snowpocalypse, I would totally recommend adding the ingredients for snow day Pizza Rolls, too! For you non-Memphians, I’m sure Pizza Roll-ups taste great in any climate!


The Only Ingredients You’ll Need

Recipe for Pizza Roll-ups


  • 2 cans of Pillsbury crescent rolls
  • 1 bag of mozzarella cheese sticks. Cut a few cheese sticks into inch long pieces. Cut these pieces lengthwise
  • 1 box of pepperoni
  • 1 jar of your favorite marinara sauce


  • Preheat oven to temperature on crescent roll tube.
  • Roll out crescent roll triangles on an ungreased cookie sheet. You may need two cookie sheets.
  • Place two or three pepperoni on the widest part of the crescent roll triangle.
  • Place one cheese stick piece on top of pepperoni (see below).


  • Roll the crescent roll triangle into a crescent roll shape like usual, making sure to keep pepperoni and cheese inside.
  • Place rolled up mini pizzas into the oven, and bake according to crescent roll tube instructions.
  • While the mini pizzas are baking, warm marinara in a sauce pan.
  • Serve cooked pizza roll-ups with warmed marinara as a dipping sauce.
Finished Deliciousness

Enjoy, and stay warm!



Back to the Snow!