“Dear Aunt Ruth and Uncle Milton,
Thank you very much for the $5 birthday check. I am depositing it to my savings account for a trip to Europe when I grow up.
So went the template for the thank-you notes I wrote to my mother’s five siblings year after year, once I knew how to write.
People always used to write thank-you notes.
I thought about that recently because people have been so nice to us since my knee surgery—sending cards, calling, bringing flowers, delivering home-made dinners, offering to pick up food at the market, etc. I am embarrassed to admit that I sent my thanks by email.
Fortunately, our daughter-in-law has taught our grandchildren to write thank you notes. Sometimes they don’t come for months, but they come. And the other day I got a very nice hand-written thank-you from a cousin for a wedding present. All may not yet be lost.
Those $5 birthday checks year after year added up. When I was in college, I managed to go to Europe thanks largely to them.
Today each of them is worth $53.56. Not bad.