Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Southwest Airlines...and Margarita's
I am often struck by the psychology that comes with "living" at the Ronald McDonald House (AKA RMH or the House). Whether your here for a "short" stay like our visits are, or here long term, it's an interesting topic to explore. And while I would like to ask you all to imagine it, the reality is that unless you have either lived on a commune somewhere, or have had stays at the RMH, it's really not something you can truly grasp. And really, even if your one of the few that have lived on a commune, it's still different.
"A commune is an intentional community of people living together, sharing common interests, property, possessions, resources, work, and income. In addition to the communal economy, consensus decision-making, non-hierarchical structures and ecological living have become important core principlesfor many communes."
Commune is as close as I can get to sharing what it's like living here, but really, it's very different. We are not an "intentional community" in the sense that we are not here because we "want" to be. We are all grateful for the accomodations, and grateful for the exceptional medical care we can get here, but we are here for medical care and that's just not ever something you "want" to be somewhere for.
We do all, essentially, live together.
We do share common interests, if you will. We all have the common bond of having a child/children receiving medical care, but realistically, there are many different reasons for the need.
We share resources, as in places to get help, ways to travel for medical care, how to, well, do it all.
We do not "share property" but we do all use the common areas, and attempt to maintain these areas. And the reality is, we do share, more than one might expect. We share rides as needed, help each other out with food when someone is running low, monitor each others children, give each other pep talks, offer shoulders to cry on, laugh (a lot), commiserate when we can, pray for each other, and appreciate the kindness of strangers (and many who become friends) who feed us nightly.
Which brings me to the title of my post.....Southwest Airlines. And margarita's.
I have always liked SWA. I like their business philosophy, their marketing techniques (having a husband in marketing, I notice things like that), and have always had good experiences flying with them. A few years ago the kids and I met an amazing lady who worked for SWA for a very long time, and we were once again impressed....by both the company and the people who make up the company. The people who ARE the company. It is a unique quality you don't see often in business....that the PEOPLE are what makes the company great. And that the company recognizes that.
I have grown to love this company.....for all the reasons that I already knew, and so much more.
SWA has been very, very involved in the RMH world, and have played a large part in the House here in Houston being here. It's one thing to see the plaque's commemorating the areas they have funded to happen....it's a whole other thing to see them here, at the House, cooking a meal (by far some of the best we ever have), entertaining us, finding out who we are and becoming friends....real friends who care and keep up with us even when it's not their night to be here feeding us. Here making us margarita's and making sure we are well supplied for the afternoon and evening.
The distraction is welcome.....but so much more happens on SWA nights. There is a feeling in the air....a feeling that our friends are here and that we will have a wonderful day. They will make sure we have a wonderful day.
I have tried and honestly, failed, to try and express to them how much they mean to us....ALL of us here at RMH.
Tonight I sit here, margarita in hand (don't ask how many I have had.....Terry has been keeping me supplied<grin>), and I raise my glass to an amazing company....to dear friends....Southwest Airlines.