Susan Yelverton

The Thank You Project



Dear Susan,

Being a teacher is a remarkable path. There are some teachers, however, whose footsteps echo very differently than many of their peers.

When I attended Crayton’s Beauty and the Beast show a few weeks ago, I was there to cheer on a friend. In truth, though, I was hoping the production would spark a little creative energy inside me. An exceptionally busy winter on every front had left me a quart low.

When you snuck that white envelope into my hands, I had no clue what was inside. I should’ve known. Coming from you, the contents had to be magical.

I don’t know how you knew I needed prayer bracelets that night, but I did. Very badly. I am so grateful you took time on one of your busiest nights of the year to give me such a meaningful and much-needed gift.

It goes without saying that you’re an exceptional teacher. The few years I watched you at Satchel Ford, I saw you excite, inspire and love students like few teachers I have seen in my life. But the other night showed me you’re more than simply a good teacher — you’re an amazing person.

Thank you for the gift you are in all of our lives — both young and old-ish.


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.

Reasons to be grateful.

I posted a Facebook status earlier today about something being one of 100 things I am grateful for today. About that same time, I thought it would be fun to think of the 99 other things I am grateful for. So I did. I thought it would be hard to make it to 100 but it really wasn’t. Give yourself a treat and think of things and someones you’re grateful for. Then tell ’em!

Here are 100 of mine (in no particular order other than the top seven):

  1. My wonderful, wonderful husband who gets too many to-do lists and not enough thank you’s.
  2. My two healthy kids who make me laugh deeply and often.
  3. My parents, parents-in-law and grandparents who took (and still take) great care of me even though they don’t have to.
  4. My sister and absolute favorite brother-in-law ever (this is a provable fact)
  5. The many friends we have who are more like family
  6. That I work in very close proximity to my mentor and one of my favorite people on the planet
  7. The Unfortunates
  8. Snoring dogs
  9. That I can end a sentence with the word for
  10. The Chrysler building
  11. My neighbor who got me gardening and introduced me to Pinckney’s Produce
  12. The Arts, in general
  13. My kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Amstutz, in particular
  14. Bookmobiles
  15. The WECO building sign
  16. Atomic Ranch magazine
  17. Bacon
  18. Smart tennis instructors
  19. Facebook
  20. Midcentury Modern anything
  21. My iPhone 4
  22. My dirigible computer case from Brokesy
  23. That I get to do something I love every day
  24. Breakfast for dinner
  25. Kids’ artwork
  26. Crayons and coloring books
  27. The smell of brand new tennis balls and shower curtains
  28. A gas range
  29. A “cool” station wagon
  30. That we got an accountant
  31. Augusta National
  32. Star Wars action figures
  33. Etsy
  34. That locally grown food is as cool as it is good
  35. Books
  36. Camping
  37. My new tennis racquet
  38. Fair food
  39. Ladies’ quad
  40. Freedom, infrastructure and the many things my taxes afford me
  41. People who like to make decisions
  42. Calendars, list and organizers
  43. Forest Lake Garden Center
  44. My time as a bartender at The Village Tavern
  45. The Kingsman’s cheese steak on Texas Toast
  46. Texas Toast
  47. Birthday cake
  48. The Tour de France
  49. Vanity Fair magazine
  50. The children’s book, The Little House by Virginia Burton
  51. The right to vote
  52. Forsythia, which blooms just when winter’s gone on long enough
  53. Artists
  54. People who support the arts
  55. When people get the giggles
  56. Harmony School
  57. Corn on the cob (in season)
  58. My garden
  59. Birdfeeders
  60. Good fonts and paper
  61. Hot dogs and cheeseburgers especially when both are on my plate at a picnic
  62. My Wednesday Weight Watchers group
  63. Books and libraries
  64. Cool hilarious people like Stacey and Joey Leroy
  65. That I met Chris Daly in summer school in 1986
  66. Kids’ birthday parties
  67. #gamecocks
  68. The coffee cup college graduation gift from the Riley’s that I have used almost every day at work since 1992
  69. Steve Spurrier quotes
  70. Folding baby laundry
  71. Bourbon
  72. The sound of laugher from anyone, especially if they’re laughing so hard there is no noise
  73. Divided plates
  74. College football
  75. Keyboard shortcuts
  76. The statue of Mickey Mouse and Walt Disney holding hands
  77. Farmer’s Markets
  78. That I can read and write
  79. Create-A-thon
  80. Coffee
  81. My 1957 ranch house
  82. Fair Haikus
  83. Avocados
  84. Guster
  85. That there’s a developer trying to bring Richland Mall back to life
  86. Taco trucks
  87. The original Tick cartoon show
  88. Fallingwater
  89. Legos
  90. Optimists
  91. Simple, ultra-smart logos
  92. For people who can read and play sheet music
  93. Inspiration
  94. My Star Wars car sunshade
  95. For anyone still reading this
  96. People who “save” old houses
  97. Fragment sentences
  98. Cheese
  99. That I actually enjoy running
  100. For the hundreds of other things I don’t know I love … yet!