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Sarah E. Kucharski

dept_christmastrees.jpg

Tom Sawyer photo

In late fall and early winter, families find their way to the steep slopes of Southern Appalachian farms to choose and cut the most favored of trees—the Fraser fir. more

Departments

2014 Merlefest

Merlefest photo

As the weather warms, festival season gets underway. Whether one seeks music or crafts, heritage or craft brews, there’s a celebration for it somewhere across the region. more

Features

Shortly after I became Smoky Mountain Living’s managing editor, I also took a teaching job at the local community college. I struggle to find the words to express how much it meant to me. My students all were at the lowest end of the spectrum. more

Good Reads

Fig Bistro

Sarah E. Kucharski photo

Tucked away along the French Broad River and Sweeten Creek Road, Fig Bistro isn’t among the easiest to find, which means those seeking its casual French-American cuisine need make a point of it being their dining destination. more

Sweet Appalachia

There comes a time at which we each will question whether we have the will to survive. It’s a funny word—will. Within it is grit, mettle and an ability to withstand. In nature, instinct predicates survival be it for the individual or the species. more

Blog

I do not approve of things with more than four legs. Whether inside or out, spiders, crickets, millipedes, centipedes and all other multi-pedes are my mortal enemies. Generally speaking, I do allow such creatures to live. more

Blog

Gateway to the Smokies

Donated photo

There is so much to do in Waynesville and the surrounding area during the fall and winter that one could spend every weekend at some kind of festival. more

Departments

Squash

Sarah E. Kucharski photo

The seed catalogs have been arriving in the mail. I tend to collect them, take them to bed with me, and peer at images of heirloom varieties and newly cultivated hybrids in the soft light of the bedside lamp that inspires garden dreams. more

Blog

A prim and proper view

Sarah E. Kucharski photo

In the mountains of Virginia near the Blue Ridge Parkway, what once was farmland and the nation’s largest producer of bundled firewood now is home to a luxury resort unlike any other. more

Departments

Sarah's room

Family photo

Growing up, I lived in a house nestled in the woods. Only in the winter, with all the leaves off the trees, could we see our neighbor’s porch lights. Privacy afforded the imagination great luxury, which I—even as an only child—greatly enjoyed. more

Blog

I met my husband at 34 Church Street in Waynesville, N.C., in August 2003. Not that I knew it at the time. In fact, I think I didn’t even speak to him, as I was there to interview for a job I wasn’t sure I wanted. more

Blog

Whenever I visit a place, I make a point of seeking out foods unique to the area. At home in Southern Appalachia, there’s one meal that defines our culture’s rugged and pragmatic nature more than any other—pinto beans, greens, cornbread and onions. more

Blog

Gus

Donated photo

I’m not the first person most would choose to call crying. I tend to be less empathetic, more analytic—let’s figure out how to fix what's wrong and do what needs to be done. What makes me good in a crisis makes me a somewhat less than optimal friend. more

Blog

An obelisque serves little purpose other than as a landmark, many erected well ahead of a need for such a landmark, as city planners attempt placemaking by making a place seemingly important with strategically monumental monuments. more

Sweet Appalachia

Handweaving

Margaret Hester photo

My mother-in-law is a weaver. She loves her loom, which sits on the second-story sun porch, windows looking out over the tops of old apple trees, across the mountains toward the Blue Ridge Parkway. more

Blog

butterflyflipflop.jpg

Sarah E. Kucharski photo

It’s a trade off. We don’t all measure quality of life by the same yardstick, of course. Some would rather have department stores than dirt in which to dig. I just happen to choose dirt. more

Blog

Juneywank Falls, Bryson City, N.C.

Donated photo

Anyone who has ever spent any time at a mountain lake has, at one time or another, found him or herself intimately and perhaps precipitously acquainted with three things—red clay banks, gnarled tree roots, and unforgiving, cringe-inducing rocks. more

Blog

It was common knowledge in our neighborhood that an abandoned mica mine was located somewhere on the mountain above my parents’ house. Despite a decade of roaming the woods, I’d never found the mine. It wasn’t for lack of trying. more

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I was born in Raleigh, N.C. My mother, a North Carolina native from Alexander County, moved to Raleigh to attend N.C. State and stayed in town after graduating. My father, raised on the south side of Chicago, moved to Raleigh after law school. more

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I was a little too young to own “real” jewelry, but I wasn’t too young to be fascinated by the pretty, shiny things in the brightly lit glass case. Gold link bracelets, watches, and gemstone rings glinted magnificently. more

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