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It’s Fair Haiku Season

DSC_2387_fair_662

Image courtesy of multimedia talent and former teen bike store owner, Ryon Edwards.

I know you’ve been waiting. Yearning. Patiently crafting your 5-7-5 syllable tributes to everything that’s right about the South Carolina State Fair. Carnies, corn dogs and cotton candy – let ‘em fly, people. Need a little inspiration? Here are the 2012 haikus and 2011 haikus. Meet you at the rocket!

It’s baaaaaaack — fair haiku season!

The Hilbilly — As seen and shared by fairgoer Ryon Edwards

It’s that most wonderful time of the year (almost)! Fall means back to school early mornings, Gamecock football and the South Carolina State Fair! Continuing in the fine tradition of years gone by, that also means something else as delicious as an Elvis burger: fair haikus.

Have a visit to last year’s beautiful haikus and then post your own in the comments. Remember: Three lines. First line five syllables. Second line seven syllables. Third line five syllables.

Maybe you’ll win some fair tickets from me!

Capital Karate

The Thank You Project

 

 

Dear Capital Karate,

When we brought our seven year old to the studio for a belt test early this year, I really didn’t comprehend all he’d been learning through the afterschool karate program at Satchel Ford Elementary School.

I knew he’d clearly been learning and enjoying the karate lessons. What I didn’t know about was the program’s deep integration of character building — focus, goals, leadership, honesty, confidence, safety and self-respect. I was thrilled with the physical fitness component of the classes, but to learn about the character-based education, well that just made karate even more valuable in my eyes.

Over the past few months I have really enjoyed watching him learn and grow in your studio. Your instructors — Mike, Andrew and Charlie — and the students who are learning to teach are the best mix of silliness, taskmaster and role model any parent could ask for.

Every time I hear a class recite the student creed I savor it — especially on those days when you talk about what the words really mean rather than simply letting them rush through. You are teaching behavior and building skills that will benefit our children for years to come.

I am so grateful we stumbled into such an excellent karate studio and experience for our child.

 

Sincerely,

Julie Turner

 

The Thank You Project is a yearlong Wordsmith letter writing and blog project. I’m recognizing and thanking people who enrich my life and make my community an even better place to live.

C.J.’s Auto Sales

 

The Thank You Project

 

 

Dear C.J.’s Auto Sales,

When I rolled into your car lot the other day, I was simply stopping to check my tire. It was, apparently, flat as a pancake. Not what you want on the way to pick up your kids after a long day of work.

Your employees — Herbert, Reggie and Greg — came out to help me without a moment’s hesitation. First they tried to fill up the tire. Then, once we determined it was a lost cause, they were nice enough to put on the spare.

I was surprised to be back on my way in what felt like mere minutes.

I made it to pick up my two boys before school closed and shared my half-hour saga with them knowing they’d be intrigued by all that transpired. I told them about the tire going flat, how I could tell there was a problem and that I found help just around the corner from school.

For me, though, here’s where the story really began.

We talked about how the men didn’t have to help me. I explained the business was there to sell cars not fix them like a garage. I told them the men probably helped me because they felt somewhere inside that it was the right thing to do. I shared my hope that they would remember how I’d been helped by your employees even though it was likely they would gain nothing for the work they did.  It was pure and simple kindness.

I am tremendously grateful for the assistance I got from Herbert, Reggie and Greg. Their kindness meant the world to me.

Sincerely,

 

Julie Turner

The Thank You Project is a yearlong Wordsmith letter writing and blog project. I’m recognizing and thanking people who enrich my life and make my community an even better place to live.

Forest Acres Public Works

The Thank You Project

 

Dear Forest Acres Public Works,

Last week, one of your trash collection employees caught my eye. Not once, but twice. Here’s why.

I happened to glance out of the window as the truck came toward our section of Oakwood Drive. I noticed a worker look toward our neighbor’s house. Their trash can was not on the street. It was close to their house since it’s not easy for them to get it to the curb. Rather than skip the stop, which could have easily been done, he walked up to the house, retrieved the can and wheeled it to the truck.

Once it was empty, he didn’t leave the can lying on it’s side or even on the street. He wheeled it all the way back up the driveway, close to the house. In fact, he placed it right where it came from. Whether he knew it was a difficult task for our neighbors or not didn’t matter. I found the gesture incredibly thoughtful.

As I sat there wondering who he was and if he was our regular trash guy, he made his way back toward the truck. He paused in the middle of the street as the truck lumbered ahead. He’d spied a few pieces of trash that has escaped from the truck’s jaws. Rather then step over it or pretend he didn’t see it he picked it all up and moved on down the street.

It would have been a cinch for him to take the easy way out twice that morning but he didn’t.

I wish my children had been close-by so I could have shown them a great example of someone who went above and beyond what was expected even when no one was looking.

Thank you — to him and to each and every one of you — for the hard work you do every day. It does not go unnoticed.

 

Sincerely,

 

Julie Turner

The Thank You Project is a yearlong Wordsmith letter writing and blog project. I’m recognizing and thanking people who enrich my life and make my community an even better place to live.

Be Beep

The Thank You Project

 

 

Dear Be Beep,

It’s not often you walk into a store and know you’ll find exactly what you’re after. Every time I walk into your store that’s just how I feel. Even better, I leave with the perfect gift, beautifully wrapped and topped with gigantic colorful bow.

Having a “real” toy store in the neighborhood is such a treat.

The magic of the overhead circling train never escapes me. And right there in the middle of the store, a tree. Just the type of fun you expect from a place that caters to the imagination.

I’ve always liked shopping at Be Beep, but the past few years I‘ve grown to love it.

You have a nice staff that’s quick to offer assistance. Your merchandise is thoughtfully chosen and of the highest quality. You blend award-winning educational fun to help kids develop useful skills with the pure fun of a pack of stick-on moustaches that cultivate a sense of humor.

Like the blue box of Tiffany, the bright bow of Be Beep is a sign of a wonderful gift.

I love giving gifts from a toy store that stocks its shelves so lovingly.

 

Sincerely,

Julie Turner

 

The Thank You Project is a yearlong Wordsmith letter writing and blog project. I’m recognizing and thanking people who enrich my life and make my community an even better place to live.

 

Charlotte Berry

The Thank You Project

 

 

Dear Charlotte,

You don’t know this but you are one of the inspirations for this great little adventure I have undertaken: The Thank You Project.

I have been fortunate enough to see the amazing philanthropic work you have done in two communities — here in Columbia and in Asheville, NC, where I worked for United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County.

Throughout your life you’ve so quietly made so much good possible. I’d always admired that and vowed one day to thank you for it. It didn’t matter that you didn’t know who I was. I hoped in some way my saying thank you would help you know the profound ways you have impacted others’ lives.

I clearly remember sitting in a restaurant on the coast a few years ago — during a lingering weekend dinner. And who should sit at the table next to us? You! A perfect opportunity to thank you, right there just an elbow away. And what did I do? Completely chickened out.

That night, I felt silly. I couldn’t believe I missed the opportunity to do something I’d thought about for years: simply say thank you. I vowed to never make that mistake again and last year I made good on that promise.

Finally meeting you in person and finally seizing the opportunity to tell you thank you felt so wonderful. I’ve carried that meeting in my heart and since then have carefully taken more time to thank the many people who work so hard to bring good into others’ lives.

I continue to admire the amazing gift that is your support, spirit and empowerment. You teach the value of community, and add so much grace to ours.

Thank you, again.

 

Sincerely,

Julie Turner


The Thank You Project is a yearlong Wordsmith letter writing and blog project. I’m recognizing and thanking people who enrich my life and make my community an even better place to live.

Keith’s K & A Automotive

The Thank You Project

 

 

Dear Keith’s K & A Automotive,

Each time I make the turn from Bethel Church Road on to Covenant Road, I get a treat. Out in the never-ending sea of street, pavement and parking lots, you’ve carefully placed thriving little islands of blooming plants, trailing roses and happy greenery.

I’ve long been grateful for the unexpected joy that blooms at your business. I applauded with the Forest Acres Appearance Commission when they honored your green thumbs a few years ago. It would be so easy for a busy small business owner to ignore those small spaces or let them go wild, but you and your staff never do.

Year after year, you nurture, plant and mulch dedicating part of your busy grounds to natural beauty. What’s so compelling is that there’s no ordinance or law requiring you to make your corner pretty. But that’s just what you do, season after season.

Each year you prove you’re more than just a part of this community. It’s part of your business plan to make your neighborhood a better place to work, live and learn.

We see your commitment on the way to Harmony School every day and it’s inspiring. Thank you!

 

Sincerely,

Julie Turner

 

The Thank You Project is a yearlong Wordsmith letter writing and blog project. I’m recognizing and thanking people who enrich my life and make my community an even better place to live. 

Satchel Ford Carpool Safety Patrol

 

The Thank You Project

 

 

Dear Satchel Ford Carpool Safety Patrol,

In our house, mornings are busy. Sometimes we oversleep. Sometimes we don’t eat a good breakfast. Sometimes we drag our heels because we wish the day started later. Many days we start on the right side of the bed, but somehow end up on the wrong side.

Then we get in the carpool line. We crawl our way up ever so slowly to the school drive. We wait if Mr. Stillwell says wait, and finally make it to the school. Then it happens. One of you opens the backseat door and cheerfully says, “Good morning!”

Did you know those words can turn someone’s day around? There have been a few days when one of you has reminded me that it is, in fact, a very good morning.

Seconds later, as I prepare to pull away from school with my spirits a little brighter, you leave me with a parting thought as you close the car door: “Have a nice day!”

I can’t even begin to tell you how important those kindnesses are in today’s world. Even if you think no one notices, someone usually does. They may not say much or even anything about something you might have said or done in the moment but your kindness will stick with them. Maybe now they’re smiling instead of scowling. Maybe they’ll be nicer to the next person they see. Maybe their bad morning has already become the best day ever.

You may never know what happens after someone pulls away from the curb, but know kindness leaves an impression. Sometimes the impression is tiny but other times it’s very deep. Your greetings and good byes make people laugh, smile, feel happier and appreciate their day a little more than they might have minutes ago.

Thank you for the many mornings you’ve brightened for me.

Sincerely,

Julie Turner

The Thank You Project is a yearlong Wordsmith letter writing and blog project. I’m recognizing and thanking people who enrich my life and make my community an even better place to live. 

Phillip

The Thank You Project

 

 

Dear Five Guys Burgers and Fries—Vista,

I just enjoyed a great lunch at your restaurant. Of course, the food was good. It is always good!

Today, though, one of the best parts of my lunch was meeting the great employee who took my lunch order. Phillip was so funny and so nice I couldn’t help but feel uplifted as I waited for my food.

For the minute or so we chatted about my order, he was so delightfully engaging and funny I knew at once I would send you a letter about him. He was so full of personality I couldn’t help but talk to him again when I saw him at the back of the restaurant. I noticed he was equally kind to my lunch partner as well.

Employees like Phillip are an exception. I took time to thank him in person for being so kind today and he was very humble and thankful.

I want you to know how much I appreciate him, as well.

You should be very proud to have an employee like Phillip behind the counter. He makes your customers’ experience so much more than an everyday lunch.

My experience with him made my afternoon brighter.

 

Sincerely,

Julie Turner

The Thank You Project is a yearlong Wordsmith letter writing and blog project. I’m recognizing and thanking people who enrich my life and make my community an even better place to live.