Baltimore County

Goodwill to a Regular Swimmer

Wednesday  when I was housecleaning, the phone rang. It was a woman from
Meadowbrook  thinking my name was something different, but she had the right membership number. She’d called to say I’d paid my membership fee for next winter, but not for this summer.
I didn’t believe her. I always take advantage of the “early bird” special. I’ve done it for years, even decades. I pay the twice-yearly membership fee for swimming at Meadowbrook months in advance to save a little. I remember driving over to Meadowbrook in the winter, seeing the blue membership card in my car and thinking, “If I don’t go now, I’ll forget.”
A lot happened here in December. Harriett Little, the woman who was basically my mother-in-law, called to say she was very sick and needed to go to the doctor. She died two weeks and one day later, and everything else during those few weeks took a back seat.
While the blue membership card is no longer in my car, I must somehow have forgotten to take it to the pool and pay the dues. I checked with the credit card company, and they had no record of a payment to Meadowbrook until June, and that’s the payment for next winter. I looked through my checkbook. I didn’t see any for Meadowbrook. There are gaps, but I rarely write a check for swimming dues.
When I went to swim laps today, I spoke with the manager. He graciously let me pay the reduced amount of a one-day “early bird” special held last Dec. 4, when I thought I had gone to pay for my summer membership. I remember seeing the blue card in the car and reminding myself not to forget, but I must have forgotten. Maybe the line was too long. Maybe I realized I’d left my wallet at home, something which happened more than once that month. Maybe I turned around in the parking lot and decided to go to Blakehurst first. That Saturday I remember sitting in Harriett's kitchen at mid-day, calling people she wanted to know of her illness.
The goodwill gesture by the manager  seven months later made Wednesday's laps at Meadowbrook even more enjoyable for this longtime and grateful member.