Sarah E. Kucharski


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

Dec 1, 2015 12:00 AM 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

Feb 1, 2015 12:00 AM 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

Jan 1, 2015 12:00 AM 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

Nov 1, 2014 12:00 AM 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

Nov 1, 2014 12:00 AM 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

Oct 1, 2014 12:00 AM 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

Sep 17, 2014 4:12 PM Departments


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

Aug 8, 2014 2:40 PM 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

Aug 1, 2014 12:00 AM 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

Aug 1, 2014 12:00 AM 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

May 1, 2014 12:00 AM 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

Apr 1, 2014 12:00 AM Blog


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

Feb 1, 2014 12:00 AM 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

Feb 1, 2014 12:00 AM Sweet Appalachia


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

Dec 1, 2013 12:00 AM Blog


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

Oct 1, 2013 12:00 AM 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

Aug 1, 2013 12:00 AM 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

Jun 1, 2013 12:00 AM Blog

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

Apr 1, 2013 12:00 AM Blog

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

Feb 1, 2013 12:00 AM Blog