Grace Notes #23 (with Photos)

Grace Notes #23 (with Photos)

Grace Notes #23 (with Photos)

This is a periodic blog feature I call “grace notes.” It occasionally captures my jottings of incidental gratitude. My hope is that this practice will make me (and you?) more aware of the constant flow of amazing good we are perpetually steeped in, which we are surrounded by all the time. It is here only asking to be noticed and amplified.

So now I am furthering my ongoing goal of appreciating such a continuous, overflowing abundance of random good. I’ve even taken photographs of some of them –mostly with my iPhone– which you can see in this post.

So let’s start this gratitude list with:

  • I am so grateful for my relationships with our daughters. Above see me with our youngest on a recent visit to her grad school campus. I am grateful they are both healthy and well, making good choices, doing good work, lifelong learners, with friends and nice homes. You can check out our older daughter’s new boss-lady office in a photo near the bottom.
  • I love fall in Connecticut, and enjoy when a vignette arrests me as I pass by, like the first photo below. I have to just stop the car already and snap that picture. I’m so grateful to live in a place where I get the full arc of the seasons.
  • There are so many reasons to be grateful about my husband, but one is his wonderful garden. Wow, what great tomatoes he grows! I’m thankful that my freezer is full of Easy Roasted Tomato Soup, made from those delicious beauties. We’ll get to enjoy them all winter long. I’m grateful for the rest of his garden too, the peppers I just cooked the last of, the zinnias, dinner plate sized dahlias, the amazing gladiola bulbs, which you can see below that quadrupled in size, and the cherry tomatoes, so cheery on my handmade sgraffito pottery. I love us bringing the church flowers from our garden as well; you can see James with a bouquet in the car on the way, as well as an arrangement of the hydrangea from the bush our church gave us to plant as a memorial for my mother, displayed in a vase made by our youngest. I love being surrounded by all this beauty, and relish utilizing an abundant harvest. And even though I love it, I’m also grateful that the garden is all buttoned up now for the winter, and we can turn our focus to other things.
  • I’m grateful for the pink dawn light out my office windows. I’m grateful for the switch back to standard time too.
  • I’m grateful for food made by others, both restaurant chefs and friends. Nothing like a great meal, especially when it is not prepared by me!
  • Thank you for the gifts ranging from animal crackers (to keep me childlike) to symphony tickets (to keep me cultured). Ridgefield is the smallest town in the U.S. that has a full sized professional orchestra; I’m grateful it is so good and well supported. I am also grateful to enjoy music in a wide variety of styles; it really adds texture to my days.
  • I’m grateful for my recent trip to Boston, and for the lovely place I got to stay there. Everyone is so loving and generous and on target; you are all such an enormous blessing in my life.
  • I’m grateful for good bakeries!
  • Every time, I thrill to an amazing sunset.
  • I’m grateful for potholders, tea strainers, glaze medium, soft pastels, almond crackers, gutters, pistons and axles, jellybeans, filtered water, cowboy boots, whiteout, bookmarks, and dish soap. This list could obviously go on and on.
  • I’m grateful for the pottery studio I frequent and for the people there (see photo below).
  • I’m grateful for the light at the golden hour every time I see it. That photo below of our weeping cherry tree with fabulous light on it is an example. It always reminds me that things change and are more beautiful when we shed light on them, which makes me think I’m in the light shedding business. I’m grateful for everything and everyone that amplifies good.
  • I’m grateful for stunning architecture. I’m grateful to everyone who has made the effort and paid the price for buildings that are interesting and beautiful.
  • I’m grateful the homeschooling moms have been getting together monthly this past year (see photo below). It is good to remain in contact with these lovely ladies who have tirelessly served their children so well. That value alone is a lot to have in common.
  • I love seeing vanity license plates, don’t you? How about happy dogs?
  • I’m grateful I’ve learned to just take a photo of something I loved in a shop– like those fabulous orange casseroles with snap lids shown below– instead of buying them.
  • I’m grateful for nieces, nephews, siblings, and friends. Many have visited recently, and I’ll see others at Thanksgiving.
  • I’m grateful for orange flowers, even orange tulips in October.
  • I’m grateful for technology, computers, phones, Facetime, live streaming, social media, etc, which keeps us connected, informed, amused, and our fingers on the pulse. I’m also grateful for having chunks of my day completely off it, like when I go on walks. There’s a photo below of a glacial rock that our young son decades ago dubbed “the rock of goodness” with such authority and finesse. I’m grateful they were not brought up with a phone in their hands. I enjoy tramping outside through fields and woods, visiting both previous haunts and new spots, and am grateful I have a lifestyle that occasionally allows for this. I’m glad I defended plenty of time in October to ramble outside in the autumn glory.
  • I’m grateful for a new one-woman art show that has just dropped in my lap for January through March. What a gift this is and an exciting goal as I pour myself into painting.
  • I’m grateful for all my clients in my Christian Science practice. Not only is this the way I make my living, it is so heartening to be part of others’ progress. I’m grateful for all the inspiration I get and give through this work. It is a totally amazing and heartwarming process.
  • I’m grateful that the Ridgefield Clergy Association is making strides of true ecumenicism. Our meetings have become less formal and politically correct, and are now more genuine and meaningful; we are all as God’s children in this together, trying to assist the world.
  • I’m grateful for both of my book groups, for my reading challenge which is coming along well, and for Libros.Fm where I can listen to books and have the money go to my independent bookstore, instead of Amazon.
  • I’m grateful for my husband’s newly launched podcast, The Bible Speaks to You. It is so great to see him thriving, and actually doing what he’s said so long he wanted to do. Give it a listen, if you haven’t already.
  • As I approach the end of my eleventh year of blogging everyday, I’m hugely grateful to each of you blog readers. Thanks for caring and being interested! This has been such I love fest and blessing all around, no wonder I keep doing it. Thank you for being here, and much love to you!

Tell me what you’re grateful for in the comments!

Gladiola Bulbs photo by Polly Castor

I work to amplify good wherever I find it. I love color, texture, beauty, great ideas, nature, metaphor, deliciousness, genuine spirituality, and exploring new territory. I encourage authenticity, nurture creativity, champion sustainability, promote peace, and hope to foster a new renaissance where we all are free to be our most fulfilled, multifaceted, and terrific selves. Read more here.


  1. Merrily 5 years ago

    I’m grateful for you.

    • Author
      Polly Castor 5 years ago

      Awwww… and YOU! Xx

  2. Joseph D Herring 5 years ago

    I find great value in the idea of gratitude for particular prosaic things, and perhaps even more in the idea of approaching all of one’s experience with a predisposition towards gratitude. Many thanks!

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