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Life under the elm

My house is not my home. It’s built on my home.

After a year of being stuck at home, I finally realized where home really is.
comfort food quarantine

How comfort food—like my grandmother’s classic Korean stews—kept me company in quarantine

As more and more photos of sourdough bread emerged on my Instagram feed, I sought my own version of comfort—the OG Korean food that my grandmother would make, with full-on funk: Chamchi kimchijjigae, a slow simmered stew of “ripe” kimchi and canned tuna, followed by doenjang jjigae, a thick stew made with fermented soybean paste.
How Kimball House and Ticonderoga Club build their bars

What does it mean to be a food critic without restaurants?

COVID-19 is a direct attack on the thing that made my life not just exceptional but livable.
UMass vs University of Georgia football

Commentary: The joy of self-destruction as a UMass fan at Sanford Stadium

"There’s something deranged about watching the University of Georgia playing the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in football." An Atlantan UMass alum heads to Athens to watch the Minutemen get completely destroyed by the Bulldogs.
Little By Little

How moving to the South taught me it’s okay to ease in slowly

When I moved to my 1,800-square-foot loft in Atlanta two years ago, my furniture looked better suited to a dollhouse. I needed to fill this big white box with stuff. Every day, returning to my bare home felt excruciatingly lonely. Finally, I set up an appointment with an interior designer through an online service called Homepolish.

“This wouldn’t happen at our farmhouse.”

We don’t own a farmhouse. We own a two-story Cape Cod on a dead-end street in Smyrna built in 1985, apparently by a DIY-er who was overconfident and woefully inadequate in his electrical and plumbing skills.
Homeownership Burden

How a professional worrier learned to share the burden of homeownership

When I lived in this house alone, every gurgle of the pipes, every sag in the floorboards had signaled a potential disaster. And every disaster meant a bill. Now here I was, standing in the kitchen with the man I’d married less than a month before. For the first time in my life, someone wanted to share the burden of homeownership. But I was having trouble letting him.
The big house

How I learned to love my own (small) space after a divorce

A decade ago my now ex-husband and I purchased a nearly 100-year-old wood-framed house in Inman Park. The house had high ceilings, five fireplaces, and wavy glass windows through which the midafternoon sun would cast rectangular sheets of light onto the hardwood floors. Behind the gracious facade, we were struggling.

How I ended up learning to drive at 39

I thought I would live in Chicago until the day I died. But life has a way of forcing you to improvise, to adjust, to do things you never imagined. For me, a lifelong Midwesterner, one of the greatest adjustments involved learning to drive.

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