While Ross was out sick last week, his class read The Witches, by Roald Dahl, and they also saw the movie. Today, Ross had trouble with a comparative writing assignment because he'd missed most of the book and movie he was supposed to be writing about. I was about to send Chris out to the library when he remembered we have a copy of the book and, despite the fact that 90% of our books are still in boxes three years after we moved, I was able to locate this one in under five minutes. I handed it over to Ross, who dutifully camped in a big chair and began to read.
About four pages in, a funny looking slip of paper fell out. Ross studied it for a minute, then handed it over for interpretation. It was a check for $39.38, from our landlord in Brooklyn dated 9-15-1995. 1995! $40! I would be happy to find $40 today...but back then $40 was half our savings account. I can't imagine how we failed to cash it. I also can't imagine how it got into a book that I've never read, but that's something else altogether. Bits of our life since 1995 flashed through my head and, by the time I'd crossed the room (a marriage, two houses, two kids, two cars, and two cats later) to Chris, the thrill of "found money" had worn off and reality had set in. I smiled, though, as Chris lit up, "Think we can cash it?"
"I sort of doubt it," I said. "Twelve years aside, there might be a problem with the bank." I thrust the check farther forward a bit and pointed at the lower left corner, indicating the World Trade Center address. A lot has changed in the world these last twelve years...and not just because Chris and I went and had some kids.