The longer it lasts, the more meaningful it becomes

op frDozing in and out of sleep on the flight home from Leon, Nicaragua, I was thinking about circles. More to the point, I was contemplating the work of my father-in-law, Bill Sullivan, at the hospital in Leon, the Hospital Escuela Oscar Danilo Rosales Arguello.

I had read something recently about people who lead meaningful lives and how they move in circles, how as they circle back to relationships, places, or important work they add layers of emotional depth to their existence. Returning again and again to those touchstones, everything becomes more relevant and worthwhile as all those interactions add up over days, months and years.

Rolling down the river

tg raftingShane Williams knows exactly when he’s reached the essence of a river.

“For me, it’s all about the glide,” he said. “If you’ve ever been on a raft, boat, canoe, kayak or paddleboard, when you come across that current and hit the glide, it’s pretty magical.”

Higher aspirations

tg higherWhy do we seek the high places? The easiest explanation for going to the mountains is for the scenery. Even so, there must be something ingrained in the human experience that draws us to lofty summits and places where we can look out over the landscape. The reasons vary from the practical to the spiritual.

Reeling in Appalachia

tg troutA seemingly dead-end situation became a life-changing moment for Alex Bell.

“We came back to school from a tournament and they said our program had been cut,” he said.

Traditional Hands: Cherokee history bridged through his hands

tg silversmithGeneral Grant knew from a young age he was an artist.

“I was gifted, it was a gift from The Creator,” he said. “He gave me multiple talents and I was not afraid to experiment with them. Through my experimentation, I’ve become very good at this and have able to make a living doing it.”

History comes to life through food, music and camaraderie

tg cataloocheeStanding atop the 5,000-foot Cataloochee Ranch mountain retreat in Maggie Valley, the vastness and endless beauty of Western North Carolina stretches out before your eyes. Heading towards the main building, you reach for the doorknob and enter eagerly. Soon, your body, mind and soul are soaked by the sounds of friends, strangers and old-time string music.

When you’re here, you’re family

tg omalleysIt’s about making everyone feel welcome for Lynn Stanberry.

“You get a warm feeling coming in here,” she smiled. “There are college kids, locals, people on vacation. It all kind of mixes and blends well together.”

WNC artists find new home at Mahogany House

tg mahoganyBouncing around her gallery like a rubber ball, the energy of Teri Siewert is contagious.

“The ambiance here is something you can’t buy or make, it’s either there or it’s not, and it’s definitely here,” she said. 

Shelton House celebrates 35 years

tg sheltonThe Shelton House, which is home to the Museum of North Carolina Handicrafts, opens for its 35th season this summer. 

Fresh from the oven: Cashiers’ Slab Town Pizza

tg pizzaIt was time for something different.

“We’ve been looking at doing something like this for years,” said Sally Peterkin. “And when we found the right place, we knew it was time to do it.”

Smokey Mountain News Logo
SUPPORT THE SMOKY MOUNTAIN NEWS AND
INDEPENDENT, AWARD-WINNING JOURNALISM
Go to top
Payment Information

/

At our inception 20 years ago, we chose to be different. Unlike other news organizations, we made the decision to provide in-depth, regional reporting free to anyone who wanted access to it. We don’t plan to change that model. Support from our readers will help us maintain and strengthen the editorial independence that is crucial to our mission to help make Western North Carolina a better place to call home. If you are able, please support The Smoky Mountain News.

The Smoky Mountain News is a wholly private corporation. Reader contributions support the journalistic mission of SMN to remain independent. Your support of SMN does not constitute a charitable donation. If you have a question about contributing to SMN, please contact us.