Saturday, April 24, 2010

Dying in Spring, a coda

Steve got the couple's plants moved and in the ground yesterday, since the forecast was for rain today. Indeed it is raining today, so it's a good thing he did it. It was about 3 hours work, he bought some plants, so when finished he told the old man that the bill was $130. The man wrote him a check for $150.

Steve was fine with this, and went on to the next job. He would not even have mentioned it, except I asked. I reminded him how much extremely low-cost work he gets from his older neighbor, who undercharges dramatically.

Today in the mailbox there was a letter and I knew from the spidery script and return address it was the client in Cold Spring. Steve opened it and the letter and a check for another $100 fell out.

The letter was written in a script I recognize well-- we get letters like this with donation checks almost every day at the development office at the monastery. The Palmer method script has a sort of immigrant edge to it, squared-off letters, but the writing is careful, straight, and eloquent. I would bet money he was educated by nuns. On the page he explained, "I didn't write out the check the way I wanted to. I realized my mistake later. Here is the rest. Thank you for your kindness and thoughtfulness. I enjoyed meeting you. I hope to see you again soon."

He must have driven down to the post office that afternoon for us to get it the next day.

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