I have absolutely everything to be grateful for – family, church, work, food, housing, air conditioning and heating, 33 years of marriage, a shovel to turn the earth…
(Note: I can assure you that the last two are completely unrelated!)
But for some idiosyncratic reason this week, the ingrates kept seeping in as I tried to focus and list my due “I’m grateful for:”
Maybe I was hungry, needed more exercise, more consistent Bible study – but I found myself venting. The dog just shook his head, lay down at my feet and looked away.
It started like this:
“I am grateful that the Interstate 69 project is nearly halfway…”
Then my mind wondered, “I wonder what happened to the ‘Ruel W. Steele’ street signs that indicated that the original four-lane State Road 37 that began construction in 1971 bears Steele’s name? “
As one does when writing in a “grateful journal,” I went rogue, digressed, and found myself reading Part 1 of Steele’s “Indiana State Highway Report 1971-1972,” written at the end of his three-year term as chairman of the Indiana State Highway Commission. As a goldsmith, I was grateful that he began his report with an intriguing and catchy: “I don’t believe in swan songs, but this is probably the last time I will appear here because this year, I am completing my term as Chairman of the Indiana State Highway Commission.
As one does while being distracted by writing in one’s grateful journal, I have counted 32 different men and women who have been our currently appointed INDOT President since 1919. And I am truly grateful for the roads that I use daily.
Thanks to the background noise and pounding of dump trucks dumping their loads day and night all summer long, and survey lights running until midnight to complete their work.
Earlier this week, I shared my continued frustration of nearly two years with the husband that INDOT, after multiple emails, text messages and phone calls, still hadn’t finished its job. They had to level, remove the remains of dead trees and trunks filling in gaping holes and replace culvert rock after removing 22 roadside trees in front of our property – work the crew had promised to do. last fall. The husband suggested that God was simply working on my patience.
As one does being condemned while being frustrated while writing in one’s grateful diary – here I write, quite like Jonah, and reluctantly grateful to our INDOT engineers as well.
Janet Hommel Mangas grew up in the east side of Greenwood. The Center Grove-area resident and her husband are parents to three daughters. Send feedback to [email protected]