The words from the song are oh so true. How can a girl not compare other men to the first man who picked her up and dried her tears. My dad died January 1, 1996, and in his Diary for the new year he had written, "The first day of my new life." And, it was. These are the first things that come to mind when I think of my dad: Cigar smoke--when I smell it I expect to look up and see him. It was a big deal to ride to Harold's Drug Store with him to buy El Verso cigars. Of course he bought me a chocolate soda from the fountain. While playing professional baseball, he became the blister expert. That meant the needle sterilized in alcohol, ointment, and a bandaid. Today, popping blisters is not recommended. He carried me into the doctor's office with my broken toe. Laughter--he was a great comic. My sister and I would lie in our beds at night listening to the laughter as he told my mother funny stories about his day. Every day was funny to him. I was in the stands when the umpire threw my dad out of the game for arguing. I can still see him stalk to the gate, slamming it, causing the gate to pop open. So, he did it again. Now the fans started laughing. This went on for at least five slams before the umpire put a stop to it. During the winter months we always knew when dad came home from officiating football games because we heard the sound of his shoes hitting the side of the house--knocking the mud from his cleats. I've never known anyone who could sit in the front seat of a car with his arm out the window, hit his hand on the side of the door, and make a sound like a flat tire. His favorite trick was to act like he had run into the door or wall with a thud. He would rub his head. It was years before I figured out the sound came from his kicking the wall with his foot. He could whistle like a bird, touch his nose with his tongue, and wiggle his ears. Forgotten arts! When I had my first child my dad cried while leaving Lubbock because he wasn't sure we could take care of the baby by ourselves! I appreciated most being able to call him or ask him for help any time during his life and his saying, "Sure I will, honey." My visiting grandson looked at my husband sleeping on the sofa and said, "Nana, is John your father?" No, Noah. He's not my father - but he reminds me of him.
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What a wonderful example of our parent's generation. They were driven by pride and a work ethic to be admired. We learned by their example. You have every reason to be proud of your father and I'm sure he is proud of you and your brothers! Thank you for sharing.
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They fly through the air with the greatest of ease; then they jump from the planes, landing where ever they please. It looks like Jim and Elaine with both of their daughters (Lynnie is a Southwest Flight Attendant); followed by grandkids and assorted McPhee Family Armada. Why would they do this? you ask with alarm. Don't they know they might break a leg or an arm? The answer will both delight and surprise; For 64 years of wedded bliss and they both turned 85! They parasailed at 80 to great delight. No Fear is their motto, thumbing their nose at fright. Skiing on water or snow; parasailing or ballooning; rafting the river - some call them looney! I call them role models of a life well lived. Yet they look to the future with much more to give. There's still square dancing and golfing; bridge and bowling, but I know a secret too good to be holding. Jim and Elaine turn ninety in 2015; the money's been paid, they'll do it again! Our hats off, glasses raised, let's give a cheer! The McPhees are amazing, and you heard it here! Click here for a news story on the McPhie's 64-anniversary sky dive. And below is a picture of daugher Lynnie who joined them on the jump.
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I would bet most people measure the passing of a year using January to December - culminating in New Year's Eve. For Flight Attendants, our year is measured from the date of our last Recurrent Training to our next year's Recurrent Training. This date is emotionally significant since our expertise as a Flight Attendant is measured and we get to keep our job. Recently, I completed my 24th Recurrent Training. My 25th SWA Anniversary is this month. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requires we requalify each year within the time period of the month before or the month following our date of hire. As confident as we are of our abilities, there is always that thought, "What if I fail my test?" Have any of you never felt test anxiety? After it is over I am always filled with a feeling of pride in our profession and relief that I am free to move about the country another year! My Flight Attendant Manual is up-to-date; CPR is fresh in my mind; new FAA mandates, Company policy changes, security checks, new service procedure--committed to memory. I reviewed medical emergencies; operated each piece of equipment; mock evacuated an aircraft. Everything old is new again! Until this year, we were given a Recurrent Training booklet the month before our training date. We used our F/A Manual as a reference in filling in the blanks, matching, and listing from each chapter in our manual. At the end of each chapter, we would have a review and our big test at the end of our training day came from these questions. Filling out the book took many hours. You didn't want to get caught the night before Recurrent opening it for the first time! During class, we knew in the back of our minds that we had to pass the test with a grade of 90 or above. If we didn't, we had to go through class again and we would be pulled from our trips until we were successful. Simply put, no money. In the beginning of my career we drove to American Airlines Training Center to practice our evacuation procedures and fight fires. That's where I came off the jump seat shouting my commands, fell and bloodied both knees. I jumped up and kept going. My heart was racing afterward. Now we have our own simulator and everything is done in house. The computer has replaced filling out a book. Last year we took our test on the computer. This year we went even further by being able to sit in front of our computers at home or on the road, receive instruction and again take our test. Time spent was approximately 6 hours. This was followed by seven hours in the training center. For me this was less stressful. Thank you Training Department! When I report for my next trip it will be with renewed confidence and purpose. It is true your Flight Attendants not only care about your comfort but also your lives!
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Paula, I will be at the Awards Banquet, 25th anniversary year, and it will be my pleasure to stand and applaud you! Thank you for all your ideas, patience, and unfailing good spirits. You and your team are fantastic!
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If you go by Bassett Direct to see Ben and Suzanne, mention my name for a free coke!
Brian, talk with me before you start. One thing I know to be true, it's better for me to work and make the money to pay a professional!
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We knew we needed new carpet and new sofas, but better to wait until the dog dies. Darlyn is 15 years old and "tosses her cookies" regularly. The utility closet houses every rug cleaner on the market! One evening in November, I spot "the hole" in the arm of one of the sofas. Decision made-- I'm buying two new sofas and carpeting the family room. We were already waiting for the plantation shutters for the downstairs so I was going to practice frugality. The search begins on the Internet and spills over into every furniture showroom in Dallas. All available sofas are too long for our space. To make the room bigger, the Mitsubishi must go--throw a flat screen tv and wall mount into our shopping basket! Before we hang it over the fireplace it would be a good idea to paint. Enter Contractor Dan. He was ready to go, and I had seven hours to find the perfect beige paint! I felt like I was on The Amazing Race. Best friend Jamie, who had already done the leg work, gave me her perfect beige paint sample. This would be a good time to go ahead and texture the kitchen walls while Dan's crew is here. What are we going to do with the tv components if the tv is on the wall? Hey, found the perfect component cabinet and threw it into the basket. The beautiful walls made our fireplace stick out. What's a few new tiles? This task was like searching for The Holy Grail. Not enough space to describe--again, Dan's the man! The hole in the sofa arm is getting bigger. I remember Bassett Direct on Midway mentioning custom made. That's the answer! Furniture man Ben remembers us and greats us with a smile. The second time you go back, they know a sale is eminent! He introduces us to Decorator Suzanne, and we are off and running! Spring and down, tapered leg, panel arm, knife edge back is sofa talk. Given 750 choices, settling on the fabric was easy. Delivery is in 30 days so I can leave, right? Not before looking at a beautiful rug that's "probably more than you want to spend." The colors are perfect with the sofa fabric and "ties the room together." You recognize that as decorator talk. Something's missing. Oh, there is now room for a new chair --found a complimentary fabric that's a must have to go with the rug. The manager brings me a Diet Coke. I've only been here five hours! I leave with a beautiful computerized scale model of our new family room. Now, all I need is the carpet. Contractor Dan sends us to Flooring John. I was having second thoughts about adding a rug on top of carpet. So, you must see this coming, he shows us wood flooring. That would help us with the "Darlyn problem". We bring the sample home and it becomes apparent that we cannot put wood flooring in one room only because the house is very open. From the front door you see the living/dining rooms as well as the family room and the large foyer. What the heck, order it! While sitting at Flooring John's desk, a granite sample catches my eye. It matches the perfect beige walls in the kitchen/family room. Maybe we will just take it home and see how it looks. Yes, it's beautiful, and yes it's installed. My market basket is overflowing and I must check out. How am I going to pay for all of this? "One year, no payments!" That's GE Money Bank talk! If you think you need a sofa, don't say I didn't warn you!
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I love this idea for several reasons. First, the page number in the Spirit magazine changes from month to month and I don't have to think, "What's the page number?" Many aren't going to search the magazine anyway, even if they are told the page number. Over the years I've been amused by people asking, "What do you have?" and after I've named every drink say, "I'll have a Coke." This has prompted me to answer, "Make a wish." Root beer? Make another wish. By the third wish they seem happy! Having a featured drink adds a festive note for our fun travelers. I love the scanner, which also prints receipts. Asking for change when some are trying to sleep is embarrassing. When people understand they can purchase the coupon books, and not be a member of Rapid Rewards, I hope they will prefer this method.
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Rob, I also kept wondering if the First Officer was going to be mentioned. I read he was flying the aircraft initially. There must be protocol stating the Captain takes over in case of an emergency, if able. The Captain himself said it was a group effort. I'm sure he would like to share the "glory". Remember Al Haynes who landed the TWA plane in a corn field in Sioux City, Iowa? (Another graduate of Dallas' Woodrow Willson HS.) Who was his First Officer? Thanks DC for mentioning the Flight Attendants. I'm sure they will and have been recognized for their job well done.
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What a heartwarming story! Thank you so much for letting us know when the show was airing or I would have missed it.
I'm proud Southwest was part of this. I have a friend who worked on a "Southwest" room for a child a few years ago on the same show. We make a lot of contributions to a large number of causes!
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I woke up early this morning and was drawn back to the TV coverage of the Miracle on the Hudson - the US Airways water landing without pontoons! Many words have and will be spoken on this amazing incident. As a Flight Attendant my mind immediately goes to Emergency Procedures in my Flight Manual, training received in class and, most important, the Recurrent Training we all attend once a year. During Recurrent Training we are shown films of aircraft accidents and Crew responses. We listen to those who have been there describe their experiences. We have a mock aircraft trainer to practice evacuation commands, opening exits and strategies for different types of landings and situations. We operate emergency equipment, hands on. Where is the equipment located? Is the emergency planned or unplanned? We have a 30-second review that we go over in our heads each flight - "Brace position and brace command until aircraft stops; evacuation decision; assigned exit procedures; evacuation commands." Crew coordination is important. Each Flight Attendant has specific duties depending on their position on the aircraft while we all know we do what needs to be done at the time. There is no way to know how each scenario might take place. We are trained to use common sense. During each emergency briefing I am looking to see where non-ambulatory passengers are sitting. Where are the children traveling alone and other children sitting? Who might need special help? Once again it has been proved that training pays off. The rush of emotions has hit not only those involved but the rest of us as spectators. "What would it have been like if we had been on that plane? What would we have done?" These US Airways Crew Members performed admirably, and we feel such pride in the outcome. Let's salute them, the other rescue workers, and all, who day in and day out, work to keep flying safe.
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Kim, you just wrote a blog within a blog! Thank you so much for enjoying my musings!
You are welcome on any of my flights! POS is always the goal. To go beyond that I need something t o work with. Give me a Friday night Mardi Gras group and I'm ON! Three hours late - that's my specialty. I'm still thinking about coming to the GO and having lunch with you. Returning to the airport after flying is hard.
Yes, we have a lot of children visiting grandparents and also friends that have moved away. Of course, children visiting parents are the most common. A few cry because they are leaving a parent but most are "sky warriors". For some unknown reason, difficult passengers do not create stress for me. They create another opportunity for POS. That's true for a lot of us. The hardest part of the job for me is 10+ hour duty days. Then, the walk from some of our gates to hotel transportation. Or, having to leave the hotel and hour and a half before push (one hour is normal). And then number one, finally getting to the door of your hotel room and the KEY doesn't work! Here I go on another blog!
Alking - we love to hear praise, thank you. I'm so happy SWA understood your problem. We look forward to many years of serving you. Thanks for reading the blog! I've also seen Celine and LOVED her.
Chris, it does seem more boys travel alone. Do boys outnumber girls these days? Maybe parents feel more comfortable putting their boys on the plane. Boys may be more willing to leave one home for another. I'd guess dads want to see their little girls as much as their sons. Thank you for helping identify an empty seat! I love my passengers to be interactive!
bswitzer, our Military are a top priority. Reuniting families is better than a vacation! I love to see the homecomings in the airport. Knowing our fares make this possible makes all of us proud.
Thanks for the other sentiments!
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In the last 13 days, I've worked ten! That's a lot of flying. Why? I wanted to make up for having worked only four days in December BEFORE the 23rd (vacation). We have had full, busy flights. I've demonstrated the safety features of the aircraft over and over and served 2,000 plus drinks. That's the nuts and bolts of our work. Let me share some moments of serendipity that make me smile as I remember them and keep me loving my job. Children five- to 11-years-old can fly unaccompanied. Understandably, during the holidays we have a lot of Unaccompanied Minors. One flight had 15! With one group, I introduced myself and began filling out their paperwork. While doing this I asked their names and then said: "And what is my name?" I had been through the routine five times and when the sixth child had my attention, I didn't ask if he remembered my name. As I put his papers in his pouch, he looked at me and said: "Aren't you going to give me the test?!" This same flight I remembered I needed to add something to the first child's paperwork. I asked him to give it to me and told him I forgot to write something. With a lisp he asked, "Is THIS your first time?" Spending time with these children is a joy no matter how many times I've done it. Another large group are our Armed Forces. I can't see these young faces without feeling almost a maternal pride. As we entered the airport early for our first flight, I noticed a young woman in fatigues. She was hugging her husband, and they were surrounded by two young children and a baby in a carrier! I wanted to go in her place! One young man, again in fatigues, boarded last with tears in his eyes. I said, "Do you need one more good-bye kiss?" and he leaned over and kissed me! The Ops Agent said the soldier was with his wife and children in the gate area. I'd love to be on their flights bringing them back home. Babies were everywhere! I've never seen an ugly baby. There's no better reason to fly than to spend time with grandparents and extended family! One popular Christmas gift is a trip to Disney World! It's a lot of fun seeing children's faces as they tell me where they are going! One family had twelve traveling together - grandpa was footing the bill. A trip to remember. Some of our flights were over two hours--one was over four hours. This gives our passengers a chance to get well acquainted. One particularly friendly group was exchanging addresses and phone numbers. They agreed it was the best flight they have every been on. That's the feeling we want our passengers to have. I wonder how many wheel chairs are in an airport? Each flight had a long line of wheelchair passengers. We had extra Ops Agents and Pilots helping the Sky Caps. Flying is a big deal to a lot of these passengers. I must tell you about Homer. He boarded first and sat on the first row by the window. He is in his eighties--a snappy dresser! We had time to talk while I was sitting on the jumpseat, plus it was a long flight. He asked me if I would come and live with him. He paid $60,000 for his house in California, and it was now worth $240,000.00! Before we landed, I saw him take a business card from the male passenger sitting beside him. I thought, "How nice; he has made a friend." Well, he handed me the card as he left. He had written his name and phone number on the back of the other man's card and added "Call me some time." I won't forget him and the memory will make me smile. I hope he will do the same! Holiday flying is hard work, but the kind that gives you a warm feeling afterward.
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Looking at the calendar, I realize I'd better stop merely thinking about gifts and start shopping! Don't we all want to give the "perfect gift"? We often equate this with spending a large sum of money. "Budget" is not just a rental car agency! I'll let you know what I'm thinking in hopes you will throw in some suggestions. Computerized calendars (family pictures for each month) have been around a long time. I noticed a friend's calendar had a picture of that person on their birthday date. An added touch. I love my picture mouse pad with my grandson smiling up at me! We have so many pictures I prefer a different form than framed. For someone short on time, and who isn't, what about prepared dinners like you find in the gourmet super markets and Costco--also good for elders. Put them in a basket and add a bow, and you're ready to go! Elders also appreciate a roll of stamps in a holder. If you are giving a restaurant gift card to parents or grandparents, have you thought of the greatest gift of all? Add your company. Pick them up and eat with them. One of the most creative gifts I've ever received is five flats of pansies. I was late planting (real late), and my brother-in-law bought and planted them. What a surprise! The best gift my children could give me is to come over on a Saturday and help with the yard, garage, or repair something. No monetary cost. The gift of time is priceless! Not enough money to buy jewelry? Buy a jewelry roll for storage or travel. Check Half-Price Books. Clothes pricey? What about a custom made T-shirt? Calling for all good ideas!
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I enjoy remembering Thanksgivings past with my mother and father, grandparents and siblings, spouse and two young children. Those were the best of times with nothing but hope for the future and gratitude for home and family--nowhere to go but up! There's still a picture somewhere of a turkey cake that took me three days to make and an hour for everyone to eat! My sister mentions it every year so its memory lives on. There was no thought at the time but that this would all go on forever. As I sit thinking about this next Thanksgiving, life has changed and gratitude focuses on things for which I never expected to feel grateful. Who among us is not grateful we have secure jobs? I am grateful I have a home that is paid for--no threat of foreclosure. I now see my children in their own children's excitement over their homemade pilgrim hats and turkey pictures with colored paper tails. I will admit I am thankful to simply show up for Thanksgiving dinner, in full makeup, bearing one pie. I am thankful for women who still like to create Thanksgiving dinner. I feel sadness for my loved ones who have passed, but such joy in friends who have become like family and who offer their help when needed. There are problems and concerns, but answers will be found--I simply Google them! (Another thing I'm thankful for.) Happy Thanksgiving and blessings to you all.
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I woke up with my subconscious screaming, "Stop the insanity!" On the day before the Super Bowl, I dined with friends at one of those restaurants serving continuous meats on a sword and endless salads, lobster bisque, vegetables... It was truly the Last Supper! Still feeling stuffed, my mind wandered back to the beginning of my career when we had Weight Check. My maximum weight in 1984 was set at 112 pounds. This was figured according to my height--in my case, the lack of it. Weigh-in was once a quarter. Before applying, I faithfully went to Diet Center first thing every morning to lose 17 pounds. I walked around my block four times a night-- the equivalent of two miles. I wanted to quit, but I would look up at the sky, see airplane lights and kept walking. So, what happened?
Over the years, we were given five extra pounds, and eventually my maximum weight was changed to 132 pounds--extra was given for age. I don't remember the exact time Weight Check was dropped altogether. A good thing? I'm not so sure of that. Incentives come in all kinds of packages. From observation, I think the biggest incentive is divorce. Not an option. Self pride? If I get a cute hair cut and wear expensive makeup, will anyone really notice? Health? That's a good one until about four o'clock in the afternoon. I'm already postponing my doctor's appointment until I lose weight. I bet I'm the only person to do that! I don't want my death certificate to read, "suicide--ate herself to death."
As I begin today with no thought of the frozen carrot cake in the freezer (if it was on the counter I would already be up!), I am formulating a plan. My incentive is--my best clothes don't fit. Also, spring is here, and I can't wear the big sweater at work. I am going to focus my mind on eating small amounts and carry emergency snacks and water. I will remember if I don't take care of the problem myself it may require intervention by Weight Watchers, which will mean meetings. Worse still is having a months worth of food delivered in a shoe box! Next would come a liquid fast.
I need your help. First, don't say, "You're not fat." I will then eat the carrot cake still frozen. If you see me wearing the sweater or navy jacket, I'm trying to "cover up". Second, please don't ask me to go out to eat at Stephen Pyles or anywhere that serves bread. Third, if you have a proven method (send pictures) you would like to share, please do.
Okay, I'm talking the talk. Next is walking the walk. I've got to look for my tennis shoes.
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TV shows, books, and articles abound on the subject of autism. They immediately catch my attention because my nine-year-old grandson, Noah, was diagnosed with autism at one and a half years. While watching Larry King Live recently, I started thinking about how serious and sad parents look as they describe hearing the diagnosis. You get an increasing feeling something isn't right. It builds to the point of medical intervention, leading to a diagnosis of pervasive developmental disorder which includes autism. I remember my son giving me a book on the disorder and seeing the words, ”mental retardation”. I grieved not only for my grandson but also for my son and his wife. Noah started to school before he was age two. We had no idea at the time what the future would be for him. Would he ever be able to communicate meaningfully? Nothing could be taken for granted. We were wearing the same worried looks I see on television. I wanted to write this blog to tell everyone there can be an ”up side” to this disorder. Noah is mainstreamed in the public school system. He is one grade behind but performing above grade level in most areas. He is very interested in numbers, which is not uncommon. He remembers everyone's birthdays and ages. At six, he could name and tell you about every dinosaur. He knows all the stats for the Maverick's players. Basketball is his passion, and he is a good shooter. I'm including a YouTube video - watch number 12 on the court! His weakest area is in social interactions. That is improving. Being able to score points gives him status with the other kids. We still have questions about his future but the worried looks are gone. He is happy/we are happy. Isn't that what we really want for our kids? If you have or know of a child with delayed speech, poor eye contact, who seems to retreat into his or her own world, lines up toys in orderly rows, stares at fans and mechanical gears and does not point, I recommend having the child evaluated by a developmental pediatrician and/or the elementary school the child would some day attend. Early intervention is important. Don't be afraid.
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I received one of those e-mails today that plainly states some have met an untimely death if they ignored this e-mail. Should I hex a friend? I was not going to perpetuate this but I did send the following "reply all".
I want to tell all of my friends receiving this e-mail that I love them!
Apparently I may die today as I am not going to worry others with a dire prediction of what might happen if they don't read and forward this poem. No, my conscience won't let me.
I've had a good life. My Pink Ladies (Flight Attendant cruise group) have added immeasurably to it! I would like to be buried in my pink boa and nothing else. You may as well have something to talk about afterward. Someone make sure I have a smudge of chocolate on my lip. My organs are worn out, but my teeth may be useful to someone. Ask that person to smile a lot! I request to be buried in a pine coffin unless they have something on sale you think I would like. I don't want the concrete liner - I can swim. Music? I prefer the Eagles. When the minister says, "If Carole was here today, she might say..." - don't believe him. Nobody knows what I'm going to say; sometimes even I don't know. If you can beat my kids to my house (you will recognize them by the U-Hauls behind their cars) you may choose a remembrance!
And if you ever run into Steven Gray, my first grade crush, tell him I loved him. If you see David Miller, my 8th grade boyfriend, tell him I loved him. Heck, tell them ALL I loved them. I didn't, but it might make them feel good!
My epitaph? "She was fun while she lasted!"
Live well my friends and be careful - someone may take you seriously!
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Pickup lines? Yes, Flight Attendants do sometimes hear some good ones. I think I'm correct in saying more are heard on Friday nights than Monday mornings! Also, females hear more than males, although males are not exempt from hearing them.
I surveyed some friends and found a few to share during this Valentine's week:
"Have you ever been arrested? It's illegal to look that good!"
"You have to know CPR because you take my breath away."
"I'm not drunk. I'm just intoxicated by you!"
"Do I know you? That's a shame. I'd sure like to."
"You must be a broom because you just swept me off my feet!"
"I'd like to be in your circle of friends."
"If I borrowed your glasses, could I see you tomorrow night?"
"Does God know you escaped from Heaven?"
"I'm like an American Express card, you shouldn't go home without me!"
"Congratulations, you've just been voted the most beautiful Flight Attendant. I'm your prize!"
"Can I buy you a drink or do you just want the money?"
"You're so beautiful you made me forget my pickup line!"
I don't know if any of these really worked, but share some lines you have either heard or used. Tell us whether or not you "fell under the spell" of some of these Romeos.
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Art Linkletter made this title well known a long time ago. Kids continue to delight us with their innocence and candor.
You are familiar with a tug pushing the aircraft away from the jetbridge before the airplane begins taxiing under it's own power to the active runway. I was prepared to begin the Emergency PA when a child exclaimed, "Are we going to fly BACKWARD!"
While descending a small voice could be heard, "My ears are burping!"
A child can fly unaccompanied on Southwest Airline's nonstop and direct flights from age five until their 12th birthday. Thinking a little boy seemed younger than five years my friend asked, "Now HOW old are you?" His reply, "I'm four when I'm on the ground but I'm five when I'm in the air." Need I explain?
I can still see the earnest face of a five year old who said, "My mother's at Williams Air Force Base. My dad's at Luke Air Force Base. I'm a civilian!"
In Orlando, a family boarded with three-year-old twin girls and a five-year-old boy. It was obvious they had been to Disney World. The boy was seated at the window and then ignored while the parents got the little girls situated. The girls were the center of attention from boarding passengers. Feeling a little sorry for the young boy, my Flight Attendant friend asked him if he had fun at Disney World. He said he had. Then she said, "Did you see Mickey Mouse?" This brought on a torrent of tears. Trying to comfort him she asked him what was wrong. "My dad told me if I said one more 'bleeping word' about Mickey Mouse he was going to jerk these ears off my head!"
Another family came on with two young children dressed in Disney World shirts, character hats, clutching Disney stuffed characters. "Did you have a good time at Disney World?" I asked. With big eyes the "Pluto" boy replied, "How did YOU know we went there?" (If you would like the opportunity to take your own children to Disney World, check out the Disney Game at southwest.com until February 24, 2008.)
One of our Pilots asked his young son where he wanted to go to college. "I want to go where you did, dad." Dad went to Ohio State so he advised his son to look for some place he enjoyed living, maybe near water or mountains-- somewhere fun. The boy thought for a moment and asked, "Do they have a college at Disney World?"
My favorite "Pilot's child" story is this. When dad came home from flying his ten-year-old son was always waiting near the front door ready to talk and play catch. This day there was no Douglas. Dad found his wife who told him Douglas had been mouthy so she had swatted him and he was in his room. As my friend opened the door to his son's room he heard an immediate, "Mom hit me!" "Well, mom told me what happened. Were you smart-mouthing her?" Hearing an affirmative answer, Dad told Douglas how lucky they were to have mom cook for them, make a beautiful home for them, love them. "Douglas, what would we do without women?" To which the child replied, "Anything we WANT?" Smart kid!
Since we transport many children going to visit the non-custodial parent it is not unusual seeing a sad face. Sitting down next to a little girl who was obviously distressed, the Flight Attendant found out the child's cat had died. To comfort the child, the Flight Attendant said, "Well your cat is now in Heaven with God!" With a confused frown the little girl said, "What would God want with a dead cat?" See if you can come up with a good answer to that!
Picture this: A nine-year-old child is traveling alone. During the opening PA the Flight Attendant mentions that we have complimentary juice, soft drinks, and coffee. Beer, wine, and cocktails are $4.00. When it's time to take the young man's order, he is carefully counting out money. "Can I get you something?" His reply, "Well, I want one of those cocktails. I don't know if I want shrimp or fruit?"
Being a Southwest Airlines Flight Attendant is not always a laugh a minute, but there is a lot of comic relief!
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Our long-time symbol of LUV, the stir stick topped with a small heart, was scheduled to be replaced onboard our flights with a small straw. Upon hearing the news, I was moved to write the following tribute.
Dear little stir stick with your heart held high
Must we really say, "Good bye?"
You've given so many such good cheer
With your stick in the cup saying, "Liquor's in here!"
If this was your only use I'd understand
How a straw could replace you and have the upper hand.
Pepper for Bloody Mary's you've held so tight
Can anything else ever be right?
Do they know of the crowns you've helped create
Along with bags of peanuts - a birthday to celebrate?
Children's eyes sparkle with delight
As they see you peeking at them in their Sprite!
You are part of the Legend and will remain as such
Raise a toast to the stir stick for giving so much!
So you see, little things mean a lot. On reexamination, the stir stick stays! In the future I hope you will look at it with renewed respect!
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Santa was on to something with his list making! A list is known to help de-stress so what better time than Christmas to make a List for Holiday Travelers. Let's start!
1. Before leaving the house: tickets or itinerary? wallet? medication? drink coupons? cell phone? computer? book? coat? gifts? bags in car? (I left my bag on the driveway early one morning after de-icing my windshield - jumped right in and drove to the airport!)
2. Leave early for the airport. This requires no explanation!
3. Bring your good disposition - have it readily accessible.
4. Unaccompanied children? Diabetic? All-day flyer? Bring food!
5. Pack activities for children and adults. (These distractions can make a real difference when there are weather or mechanical delays.)
6. Check the Weather Channel for the forecast at your origin and destination before leaving home.
7. Dropping off Seniors or disabled passengers traveling alone? Plan to stay with them until they board the aircraft and have someone at the destination waiting. (Escort passes are available through a Customer Service Representative.) Please communicate any special needs to our folks at the airport. I had a ninety-two year old man left at the curb by relatives, and he thought he was on the train! During Thanksgiving I had twenty-three wheelchair Customers for one aircraft.) Help us help your loved ones.
8. Pack medicine and valuables in a small case that fits under the seat--never in a bag that may have to be checked. Your bag may fit in an overhead bin, but if you board last, the bins may be full.
9. Infants and children requiring milk? You must bring your own. We have limited cold storage - beer won the space over milk!
10. If bringing gifts, leave unwrapped (in case Security needs to look at it). Remember there is a two item carryon limit (one bag and one personal item). Also, these carryons must fit in an overhead bin or under your seat. Keep this in mind when packing. (Flight Attendants don't like being the Grinch. I was given a button that says, "I love my job. Don't make me hate it.")
11. If being picked up at your destination, ask that they check on your arrival time before leaving for the airport.
Can you add to this list? (My catch phrase for this Season is "Don't get your tinsel in a tangle!" When stressed, it should bring a smile!)
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Leah, I like your ditty! I would suggest you go ahead and re-apply. That way your application is in line when the time is right. Has it been a full year already?
Ray, what about, "I'm a pilot. "Otto" pilot is a German guy! He's single - would you like to meet him?" Bless her heart. I guess I'll see you in November!
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Roberta, you sound just like what Colleen needs - a double. She works so hard I'm sure there are events where she needs to make an appearance and YOU could go in her place! That is indeed a compliment - I will look for you.
Linda, a pleasure hearing from you. I LOVE your story.
Brian, I too was taught to say "May I"; however, on the aircraft most folks say, "Can I". If the seat belt sign is lit I tell them I cannot give them permission because if they are hurt and we go to Court they will point at me and say, "SHE told me I could go!" They turn on you!
It's nice to be back. My free time was devoted to a family matter - all is well now.
Luv to all,
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We are asked a lot of questions during flight. The most-asked question is, "Can I use the rest room?" The next is, "Where are we?" The craziest question I've ever been asked is, "Did you used to be a boy?" (My ID picture was taken when I had real short hair.) I gave the lady my most serious look and said, "Yes, and this gentleman here was my sister!"
I'd like to share some thought-provoking questions (and some of my humorous responses) that I've been asked this past year.
Q Do the Flight Attendants and the Pilots stay together on layovers?
A Do I ask you about YOUR personal life? The real answer is we stay at the same hotel which is what I think the red-faced woman meant.
Q My wife and I have been watching you. You're a Gemini, aren't you?
A No, I used to be a "Jim and I," but Jim and I have been divorced for years.
Q Do I have to sit in the middle seat? (Last available seat)
A When you're the last one to the dinner table for Sunday dinner, you don't get the best piece of chicken.
Q Just WHO are we waiting for? (While holding for connecting passengers)
A We are waiting for Bob and Betty Green. They have been married twenty years; they have six children at home; they're paying the babysitter $10.00 an hour and they HAVE to get home tonight!
Q Why does your husband let you do this? (Asked awhile back)
A We worked together five years and spent twenty four hours a day, seven days a week side by side. He found me looking for hit men in the classified ads--any more questions?
Q Are you always this happy?
A Yes, my children grew up!
Q Are you taking orders?
A No, I'm taking requests!
Q Why can't I change my companion any time I want for your Companion Pass program?
A Southwest is trying to encourage monogamy!
Q What did you do to make those passengers so happy?
A I LIKED them! No one wants to be strapped down and encapsolated in a tube at 35,000 feet with somebody who's mad at them.
I hope to see you on one of my flights some day. If I don't have an answer to your question, I'll make one up!
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Okay, I won't retire!
I said I CAN retire - not I WILL retire. I have had a number of passengers say work as long as possible because once you stop moving it's harder to get up in the morning.
Thank you Kim and Leah!
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