Susan Stafford Kelly

Kelly is a contributing editor at Our State. She is the author of By Accident and the novels Now You Know, The Last of Something, Even Now, and How Close We Come, winner of the Carolina Novel Award and an alternate selection of Book-of-the-Month Club. She graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and lives in Greensboro.


A Church Choir is a Symbol of Togetherness

Arguably, choirs are the most visible aspect of a church service. For singers and listeners alike, choirs fill our hearts with a crescendo of joy.


A Museum in Old Salem Tells Our Settlers’ Tales

The Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts in Winston-Salem celebrates the tools and trades that pioneers brought with them to North Carolina’s backcountry.


Holiday Tours Will Make Your Next Roadtrip Feel Like Home

From getaway tours across the state to charter bus trips across the country, a family business in Randolph County has been taking folks where they want to go for decades.


Photo Essay: Reliving the Revolution through Reenactment in Guilford County

On a cold March day in 1781, a quiet backcountry farming community in Guilford County became the site of a pivotal battle in the American Revolution. Today, the bravery of the soldiers who fought for our country’s independence is honored with a powerful reenactment.


Wood-Burning Fireplaces Provide Winter Warmth

In the coldest months of the year, there’s only one place we want to be: toasting our toes in front of a big, bright, wood-burning fire.

Home & Garden

5 Family-Owned Garden Centers Offer Yuletide Trimmings

Nature outshines even the brightest newfangled Christmas decorations. From garlands to kissing balls, homegrown, family-owned garden centers stock the holly (and the jolly) of the season.


Studio Tour with Harkers Island’s Walter Gaskill

The coots, loons, and surf scoters in this Harkers Island studio don’t fly. But they land in collections and competitions from coast to coast, as rows of blue ribbons attest.


A Story Behind Every Christmas Tree Ornament

Handmade from Popsicle sticks and macaroni, or preserved from generations past: An ornament represents a story, a memory, a treasured entry on the timeline of our lives.