Jerry’s Table

You might have heard the expression: “If it’s worth doing once, it’s worth doing well.” My dad likes to add a twist to this phrase. Whenever he has to redo something, he shrugs his shoulders and says: “Well, if it’s worth doing once, it’s worth doing twice.”

I definitely inherited my dad’s optimistic attitude. The most recent example was a piece of furniture which I wanted to fix up.

Picture a long farmhouse table with thick metal trestle legs, so heavy that I can barely lift one side by myself. This table came into my life last summer, when Sung and I were living with my grandparents.

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Birthday Buzzcut

Six years ago, I was living in a tent a few miles outside downtown Austin, Texas. It may have looked like an ordinary WalMart camping tent. But it was actually U.S. government housing.

I was working for a federal program called Americorps, which sends young adults out to various places in the U.S. to do community service. I worked at a daycare in rural New Mexico and cleared a hiking trail in the middle of the Missouri forest. In Austin, my team and I were helping out at a recycling center. By day we sorted cans and bottles on a conveyor belt, at night we slept at a park. We cooked our dinners over a campfire and showered at a YMCA.

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