By Janet Hommel Mangas

My mama taught me better, but I sometimes forget to express my gratitude by saying thank you. So I once again logged “write thank-you notes” on my ‘to-do’ list.

Thank you to the Johnson County Highway Department for trimming the trees and volunteer shrubs that were stretching their limbs out to Stones Crossing Road and making pulling out quite dangerous. “Contact the JCHD to trim roadway” was on my to-do list since fall, but I joyfully got to check it off my list because they were proactive and took advantage on that 60 degree winter day.

Thank you to the awesome Indiana Department of Transportation and the contractor who is repairing the Interstate 465 West and Rockville Road overpass bridge. I am still amazed that 465 was only shut down for a few days in January and traffic has been running relatively normal.

Thank you to those of you that show your patience and humility by not feeling the need to see life as never-endingly negative and blasting daily tirades of critical doom on social media. I know you, too, have strong beliefs and have bad days along with everyone else, but I see your restraint and appreciate you making this world more beautiful with less ugly.

Thank you to the joy shown by the cashier, even after an extremely grumpy complainer checked out and attempted to spew her inelegance to the line of people behind her. For some reason, the cashier reminded me of a YouTube video where it takes a herd of elephants to save a baby elephant from an attacking crocodile as they cross the Luangwa River in Zambia.

The elephant herd shrieked from relief once they were all safe. Likewise, it seemed the cashier was even more heartening after grumpy-pants left and the line of customers all smiled and sighed in relief after the joy-sucking danger was gone.

I received this thank you note yesterday before I got around to writing mine. I love that my sweet nephew reminded me that gratitude is free, never late and so simple to give.

Janet Hommel Mangas grew up on the east side of Greenwood. The Center Grove area resident and her husband are the parents of three daughters. Send comments to