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We Are Thankful

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A few days ago, I asked members of the Blog Team to share thoughts on what each of them was thankful for this Thanksgiving. Only fair that I rise to the occasion as well. Yes, as the picture indicates, I am a huge fan of pumpkin pie. 
 
We are all thankful for our Families (blood-related and Southwest-related), our great service men and women, our great Customers, and our great Company.  This only scratches the surface, though, so let’s examine some specifics: 
 
The den in my parents’ house, where we enjoy evening television, has multiple personalities. There is no one feature or discernable theme, except that it is eclectic, to say the least.  Pictures from throughout our family’s crazy adventures; items acquired during those adventures; some bought off eBay, a representation of mostly my Dad’s life memories. Every trinket in the room, large or small, has meaning (though admittedly, meaning is more readily discoverable in some of the items than in others).
 
Shelves
 
If I had to choose a favorite item (or ensemble of items, in this case), I would choose the tin soldiers nestled inside the English telephone booth in the corner of the den. Each level is a different historical scene (I haven’t included all of them because one scene is particularly controversial in nature). I am currently working on adding to the Ancient Egpytian scene (currently, there’s a Pharoah overseeing a mummy-wrapping).
 
Soldiers
 
All of the aforementioned is my ambiguous nod to those things for which I am thankful. Tradition. Family. Friends. A healthy life that has allowed for all of these adventures. Values that I hope to someday pass on to my own children.
 
Happy Thanksgiving, y’all.
 
Ally Harrington
Customer Service Agent Supervisor, FLL
Where in the world would I rather be than the airport on Thanksgiving? It’s almost become a tradition in itself, working on the holiday. Most people look at you funny when you tell them, “We celebrated our Family Thanksgiving a week ago!” With everyone so busy, celebrating a week early is the best way to go. The grocery stores are open, no crowds, and you can brag about the meal and make your friends mouths water talking about your delicious dinner.  Every year, we have fried turkey and a fantastic sweet potato soufflé. I don’t mind working on Thanksgiving; Southwest Airlines is, after all, my home away from home.
 
I’m going on 15 years with this great Company.  I’m so thankful for the many blessings in my life: my awesome husband, a wonderful, yet crazy family, and for the security of my job with Southwest Airlines. Like that of my own family, my Southwest family also has its quirks! I Every year at work, we bring in goodies to share with each other, we lean on each other with the fun, challenging work day. 

Yeah, turkey is great, and I’ll never pass up more mashed potatoes (with sour cream), but I look forward to getting all our Customers home for the Holidays, Southwest-style!

Annie Hoelzel
Crew Scheduler
I would like to take this moment to give thanks for some of the wonderful blessings in my life.  I am thankful for loving and supportive parents.  I am thankful for my friends.  I love them more every day.  I am thankful for my job and the greatest Coworkers I’ve had the privilege to work with.  I am thankful for my Jeep (hey, I can’t help it, it’s made of awesome!).
 
The Jeep
 
I am so grateful for my once-in-a-lifetime trip to Italy.  It was an amazing chapter in my life.  

I have so much to be thankful for, I cannot count all my blessings.  I am an in excellent place in my life and I will never forget what it took to get here.  It has been a great 2011.  I am thankful for this year.

Have a wonderful and happy Thanksgiving!
 
Bill Owen
Lead Planner, Schedule Development
This year, I’m thankful for the true happiness, and contentment, to simply to be me—in my own skin, on my own turf, and living my own life.  Finally, after 53 years on the planet, I am happy to be exactly who I am.  Not someone else, not a different, “tastes great, less filling” me…..just me.  Trust me, after five decades of self-doubt, of being told what I should be or what I ought to be, and even worse being told what I could never be, accepting—and appreciating!—who I am is not only a milestone, it’s such a relief!  Can there always be improvements?  Of course, and I’ll always aspire to be a better me.  But I’m now at long last thankful to be just, simply, me.  So watch out, world…you never know what “me” may do!  Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Brian Lusk
Corporate Historian
I am thankful for dogs, for their loyalty, for their unconditional love, and for the smiles they put on my face.
 
Pup
 
I’m amazed how they communicate without speech and how they know what I’m thinking. 
 
Elise May
Assistant Safety Manager
I was diagnosed with cancer at the end of 2010, so I am very thankful to have another holiday to spend with my son, Matthew. The support from my family, friends, SWA Family, doctors, and others was amazing. I am thankful for every card, phone call, and hug that were shared with Matthew and me.
 
Elise and Matthew
 
Six months after my diagnosis, my dad was diagnosed with bladder cancer. Sadly, he passed away in September. I am thankful that I got to spend so much time with him this year and that his legacy will live on in my son. This time of year is a perfect time to reflect on all the blessings in our lives.
 
Elise and Dad
 
Even though this year held a lot of challenges and sadness for my family, I am incredibly blessed to be surrounded by caring, loving people who were there to catch me when it was needed most.

Captain Joe Gautille
Pilot
Like many Southwest families, we have our Thanksgiving Day traditions. Having the family together, as the years go by, is the biggest blessing, but spending the day together starting with breakfast and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is a great kick-off. Not to forget Thanksgiving Day football, especially our hometown team, the Dallas Cowboys, who have been hosting this NFL game since 1966. The highlight of the day is a traditional Thanksgiving Day dinner, giving thanks for our many blessings, eating way too much food and enough turkey tryptophan to put everyone into nap time after dinner.
 
Capn Joe and Family

A Thanksgiving tradition for our family has been the day-after road trip to Terrell, TX to cut down our Christmas tree. The day-after-Thanksgiving begins our Christmas celebration, which lasts until New Year’s Day.  We have been journeying to the Wall’s Family Farm for over 15 years now and it has become a most anticipated event on the heels of Thanksgiving. Traveling together for the one-hour drive east of Dallas to this wonderful Christmas tree farm is a fun time in itself. Once we navigate the country roads to arrive at the brightly painted red farmhouse with Christmassy white trim, the fun really begins. It’s hot chocolate, Christmas Carols, a hay ride to the Christmas Trees, and then taking turns cutting the tree down while lying on the ground sawing away. Driving home with the tree on the roof is the end of Thanksgiving and the beginning of Christmas for our family. A wonderful family tradition. 

Kari Kennedy
Maintenance, Project Support Manager
I’m thankful for friends who don’t mind taking an orphan in with their own family.  I have family spread out along both coasts and rarely travel during the Thanksgiving craziness.  It’s always fun to have dinner with different friends each year.  What’s traditional to one family isn’t to another.  Who knew that my favorite marshmallowed yams weren’t a staple at everyone’s table?  

I’m also thankful for big box hardware stores.  This four-day weekend is always a great time to tackle those home improvement projects that would normally take more than a regular weekend to do!
 
Krista Crow
CS&S, Customer Representative
What am I thankful for?  A lot of different things come to mind. My family, my children, my friends, my job; but there is one thing that I thought of which I am particularly thankful for this year.  It is the one thing that keeps me sane.  It has the ability to make me laugh or cry. It keeps me from getting bored. It makes my husband’s driving tolerable. Of course, I am talking about my Nook Color.  I am so grateful for all the distractions it provides me.  It goes everywhere with me and never complains. It never asks, “Are we there yet?”  And best of all, it never asks me, “What’s for dinner?”  What could be better than that?
 
Mike Sims
Cabin Services, Dir. of Base Operations
Happy Thanksgiving! 

I am thankful: 
  • for my incredible parking karma.  Ride with me to the mall and you will be amazed too
  • for the fact I can bake Thirty-Minute Brownies in twenty minutes flat
  • that I can nail any movie quote, thus proving I know almost everything about absolutely nothing
  • that my staring contest competition record this year is 10 and 6—all that mirror training is starting to pay off
  • that 5 out of 4 People have trouble with fractions (just like me)
  • for gravity.  There’s been many a time I felt I was about to fall off the earth, but it didn’t happen
  • for pie—especially pumpkin pie
  • for haiku.
  • that I can pilot bicycles up severe inclines with unflagging speed
  • that I have eaten no candy corn this year-and won’t
  • that I learned during my public school education that “elemenopee” wasn’t one awesome letter

With all that being said, I am very thankful that our military continues to protect our nation and have sacrificed so much for our freedom.  I am thankful for my family and all of my colleagues at Southwest Airlines.  What a wonderful place to work!  I am thankful for our Southwest Customers.  We LUV you. Thank you.

Whitney Bartels
Customer Relations Specialist
This Thanksgiving will mark the beginning of my second year at Southwest Airlines. With this new journey I’ve begun, I am thankful for countless blessings that come with working for such a strong Company. Much has changed since I first started here at Southwest, and admittedly, I am not one who takes kindly to change.  But with these changes also come open doors- new adventures, new beginnings, and new opportunities.  Perhaps the most valuable asset I’ve gained since beginning my career at Southwest is the People that have stood beside me through the ups and downs. And no matter what may be different come this time next year, I am thankful for the home I have at Southwest Airlines. I am confident that no matter where I go, or what happens, or how many times I fail (or succeed!), I will have a Family here at Southwest, welcoming me home with open arms.