Grateful for the many handfuls of thanks given

By Janet Hommel Mangas

I was wandering around this week collecting handfuls of thanks. It was a matter of minutes before my hands were full and I needed a bushel basket and then a wagon to haul them in.

If you’ve never collected handfuls of thanks, it’s fairly simple — just ask friends, acquaintances and perfect strangers if they’d share what they’re thankful for. The following are some recently collected thanks:

Joe Mulinaro of Center Grove: “I am thankful for my beautiful wife of 48 years, my beautiful children and grandchildren. I love them with all of my heart.”

Jayne Mulinaro: Thanksgiving “traditions use to be fighting over the wishbone, having everyone say what they’re thankful for, kids table, Macy’s Day Parade on for the kids while cooking and baking. Setting the table with china and candles to make it special. Cranberry sauce and Dad carving the turkey. Taking a walk to the playground at the school after dinner. So many wonderful memories bring tears to my eyes — so many blessings.”

Elizabeth Nevill: “Seeing my family together in one spot and getting to love on them!”

Greenwood’s Elizabeth Willing gave her top 5 thanks: (1) Family (2) Our big giant family (3) Watching the Macy’s Day Parade (4) Making memories (5) Mom’s pumpkin pie.

Johnson County resident Bonnie Mulinaro is thankful for Thanksgiving preparation traditions: shopping at Aldi, Bailey’s in her coffee and crocheting.

Marley Kerr, a Center Grove High School freshman: “A new house, good parents and a moderate sister. (His sister is a senior at CGHS.) Marley noted that a Thanksgiving family tradition is: “having the kids eat in the garage.”

Elizabeth Willing quickly amended Marley’s comment: “A heated garage — we don’t want the public getting the idea we just throw the kids into the garage.”

Lindsay Smith’s thanks include: “We go around the table at dinner and each say out loud what we’re thankful for that year — my mom can’t do it without crying, and neither can I.”

My sister-in-law Julie Hommel: My kids (5-year-old triplets) just did thankful bags for school. They were asked to put 3 to 5 items in them that showed what they were thankful for. My sweet Emery put pictures of his cousins in first then drew a picture of the cross and wrote that he’s thankful for God and Jesus.

He also included a picture of him with his daddy, of course. Sweet Reese wanted to take the picture of her Aunt Janet, Aly, Chloe and Phoebe and of her mama and papa, and the picture of the three of them with the Easter bunny. Angel Faith included a wedding picture of her mom and dad, a little piece of blanky that was left of her blanket that she loved to shreds and her little stuffed bunny, “Bun Bun.” Julie added: Their mother is very thankful for the blessing of these three!

Phoebe texted from Anderson University: “I am thankful for the small victories and the way God pulls together all the pieces I can’t handle on my own. He makes seamless what I thought was a mess (both leadership roles I took on that I can’t give everything to and my own heart.) It’s not that everything turns out perfect, but that he keeps reminding me it’s ultimately not my job to be.”

Chloe: “I’m thankful that Michael and I get to be up east for these three months, for fresh apple cider, Vermont maple syrup, the cool temperatures, for good drivers and the lack of snow in the Midwest where I’ll be long term.”

Aly, a 20-something noted: “I am thankful for videos of my little cousins asking me to come home and chase them. I’m thankful for my health and our big family.

The Mister added: My beautiful bride has a new job using her gifts to help the Kingdom. 2) The opportunities awaiting us in 2018. 3) My wife saying ‘yes’ to a houseboat in 2018. (Author’s note: Said wife did not say yes.)

Happy Thanksgiving.

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