Janet Hommel Mangas: Moving at the speed of life

You ever feel like you’re going 180 mph?

The first week of June, I drove to Minneapolis and delivered 40 awards to honor recipients at the American Hosta Society Convention, in addition to touring 13 gorgeous private gardens in three days and attending a handful of seminars.

A day after I returned home, I spent the day with my 10-week-old grandson. Teaching him the fine art of rapid weeding and planting in the shade for an hour, John Steven kept me company in his stroller. With one hand I culled spurge, then planted the last dozen hosta and multi-tasked rocking the stroller with my other hand. (Note: John Steven did voice his opinion quite loudly that he absolutely did NOT like the 4 drops of water from the sprinkler that fell on his little face. — Granny Janny fail No. 1)

Five days after returning from Minnesota convention, Steve and I hosted our first garden tour of the 2022 summer for the Indianapolis Hosta Society. Five acres of gardens needed some mowing, trimming, and sticks picked up after we were gone for a week. The pool had accumulated 4,726 pillbugs which needed swept out, in addition to new trees needing watered, and annuals planted.

Three days later I threw my suitcase back into the reliable CRV and headed north on U.S. 31 to Interstate 196. I volunteered to serve as a roadie/chauffeur to transport my youngest daughter, Phoebe, to her performances with Maverick City Music and Kirk Franklin, 16-time Grammy-winning Gospel artist, in Detroit, Grand Rapids at Van Andel Arena and Columbus, Ohio, at Schottenstein Center. I thought I might sit, relax and take in the concert after all the driving. There was not one person in the entire arena that chose to sit down — including me. Until 11 p.m., the full arena was a full-on worship celebration, where everyone sang every song. Exhausted, Phoebe and I drove home on Thursday.

Did I mention I’m kind of a homebody? The hubby always jokes when we come back from vacation, that my favorite part of the trip is when I sigh as I pull into our driveway.

Exactly 24 hours after returning to Johnson County and sleeping in my own bed, I found myself literally going 180 mph, thanks to a Mother’s Day gift from my daughter and son-in-love, Chloe and Michael Tillman. I signed a couple of waivers, then suited up in a full fire suit, fire-retardant balaclava (head sock), helmet and gloves.

When it was my turn, I wedged my child-birthing hips into the two-seater IndyCar driven by professional race car driver Logan Gomez, and experienced two laps of magnificent G-force around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. After our Indy Racing Experience rides, John Steven’s other favorite grandmother, Denise Tillman, introduced me to Center Grove resident Scott Jasek, founding partner in the 20-year old Indy Racing Experience — which gave me the opportunity to tell him a heart-felt thank-you. Johnson County surely is full of creative business owners.

This month I’m slowing down for a minute.