A small thank you can go a long way. After a recent snow storm I was not excited to shovel my driveway again. I drove home from work that day trying to pump myself up about it: I can do this! I pulled up to my house and parked in the street so I wouldn’t drive on the snow and pack it down on the driveway. I parked, turned the car off and got out of the car. I began to walk up the drive and then immediately stopped in my tracks. Someone had cleared my driveway! The snow was all shoveled off the driveway. I was amazed. I didn’t expect it at all. I was so overcome with gratitude. Someone took the time and energy clean my driveway. Suddenly my brain was flooded with ideas of how I could thank this person. But there was a problem. I don’t know who did it.
Who do I thank? I’m so thankful but no way to express it if I don’t know who to thank. After some deduction and investigation I narrowed it down to two of my neighbors. But which one? I debated for quite some time and even considered letting it go but it was eating away at my emotions. I just had to thank someone. I got a thank you note out of my card stash that I keep on hand for just such an occasion.
I took the thank you note and wrote a few kind words of gratitude in it and decided who I’d deliver it to. I went to my neighbors house, note in hand, and so excited to get the opportunity to thank them. I turned out no one was home. So I took some tape and taped the note to their door. I wanted them to see it right way when they got home.
The next day there was a knock at my door. It was my neighbor. In her hand was my thank you note. She told me as much as her husband would like to take credit for it, they were not the ones who cleared my driveway. She was returning my note. I explained to her what happened and how I really needed to thank the person. She then confirmed it was the other neighbor I had originally considered. I quickly packaged up a small gift and the note and went to that neighbor’s house. I was able to eventually thank that neighbor for their kindness and efforts on my driveway.
As I told this story to a friend that looked at me as if I was crazy. Who would go to such lengths to just give a simple thank you note? After the note was returned, why would you try a second time? I tried to explain to my friend how much it meant to me and how thankful I truly was. I think often our world today lets “the little things” slide. We’ve let go of a lot of the older traditions. Thank you notes are reserved for large gifts and gestures (if even then). That thank you note that I wrote not only meant so much to me to share but was a way to brighten my neighbor’s day. A way to unite us a little more and deepen our neighborly relationship. It was not just a simple note. That small piece of paper stood for so much more.