Standing behind the counter at a local golf course on a beautiful summer evening, I accepted the cart key from the golfer and wished them a pleasant evening just as the phone rang. Answering the call, expecting the usual questions regarding tee-times and leagues, I was suddenly caught off guard.
“Hello,” a voice, obviously an older woman, said on the other end of the phone. “I’m afraid I slept in. Please tell the other ladies on my foursome to start without me. I’ll be in as soon as I can.”
I paused, not sure how to answer this request since there wasn’t a league in progress, and I assumed she must be talking about the league scheduled for the following morning, and included older women golfers. But I was confused how her sleeping in this evening affected her playing the next morning. Before I could respond with something resembling, What?, she thanked me and hung up.
Setting the phone down, I chewed on this one-sided conversation for only a moment before another golfer walked in, diverting my attention back to getting people on the course.
It wasn’t until a half-hour later, an older woman walked into the pro-shop, and I greeted her with a smile.
“Did I miss league?” she asked.
“I’m sorry,” I said, recognizing her voice as the one on the phone from earlier. “I’m not sure what league you’re talking about? Which league are you on?”
“What day is it?” She asked, as I saw her smile diminish, replaced with a look of confusion.
And that’s when, together, we untangled the mystery. This lovely lady had taken a catnap, and upon waking and seeing the clock showing 7:45, thought she had slept through the night, not realizing that it was 7:45 in the evening, not the next morning.
Embarrassed, she thanked me for clearing up her confusion, and sheepishly explained that she was 90 years old. I smiled and told her that it was a mistake anyone could make, and the fact that she was still golfing at 90 was a testament to her strength.
Let’s lift everyone we encounter. A smile with a guiding hand goes a long way.