Grace Notes #26

Grace Notes #26

Grace Notes #26

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:

  • If you have to shelter in place, I recommend doing so with your best friend that is also your spouse. I am so grateful for this earnest, kind, flexible, focused man. We are moving in seamless rhythms over here, like a little dance, sharing a house big enough for both of us to have some private space in which to work. I’m always grateful we get along, but at times like these that gratitude swells so huge! Also, we have a snug, sweet home, with a laundry on the premises, an extra freezer full of last season’s produce, computers with wifi, electricity, plenty of books, chocolate, art materials, and endless projects to do. Staying in place is gratefully not a hardship over here.
  • I’m grateful good parks are close by and the sidewalks in our small town are right out my door. I’m glad to see the spring weather, and to watch the blooms proceed. We are in our second month of no gym fees, since it is shut down, so I’m grateful to move around when I can.
  • I’m grateful that our youngest was able to come home for spring break and get back in time before all this sequestering took place. It was good to have her home, to hike, play cards, and have our last meals out (see below). We also got her stocked up with food for this long stint of teaching college classes from her apartment.
  • I’m grateful all three of our kids are safe and are perfectly content to work from their homes. They seem happy with it, having had some practice with it earlier in their life, because of homeschooling. (Check out our oldest daughter’s four screen set up in her home to help California navigate this crisis!)
  • I’m grateful for church via zoom. The commute is really efficient!
  • I’m grateful to be writing more. That was a reach goal on my 20 for 2020, but because of these circumstances, I’m meeting it better than ones dependent on getting out.
  • I’m grateful for online resources, Netflix, bloggers, podcasters, subscriptions, and social media which bring new content in to embellish our days so effortlessly.
  • I’m grateful for all the first responders and essential workers that are out there in the mix as usual, putting themselves on the line for the rest of us. I’m grateful too, for all who stay home, making things safer for those that are vulnerable.
  • I’m grateful for the regularity that is strengthening my spiritual study and quiet time routine, since so much else has been cancelled.
  • I’m grateful to be doing Spiritual Direction work again for interfaith colleagues; it is such an honor to be trusted and respected to this degree.
  • I’m grateful for all the money we are saving by going nowhere.
  • I’m grateful for book group meetings continuing through zoom.
  • I’m grateful our local grocery store is maintaining stock as well as it is.
  • I’m grateful James did the taxes and I didn’t have to.
  • I’m grateful for the safe, healthy delivery of my oldest sister’s third grandchild yesterday.
  • I’m grateful for the days getting longer. It was light out during dinner last night!
  • I’m grateful my friends were able to squeeze in their amazing Egypt adventure before quarantining. I enjoyed watching all their photos as they went from one site to the next along the Nile (see photo).
  • I’m grateful my friend in Texas is helping out endangered monarch butterflies (see photos).
  • I’m grateful for pears, flowers, bookmarks, automatic save functions, new ideas, paint clothes, fleece blankets, spring peepers singing in lowland marshes, single lens reflex cameras, the Venmo app, new clients, healing taking place, people helping their favorite businesses stay afloat, potato chips, compost piles, Newfoundland chowder (gosh I’m glad we went there last summer instead of trying to go there this summer!), stencils, faith, the bells in the carillon a block away, the blue scilla slowly spreading outward from under our tree out front, a hugely bright full moon, my Reading Challenge for 2020, cottage cheese, the Phase 10 card game, the trees budding out in tight little maroon fists, fingers slowly unfurling, the considerate distribution of masks and gloves, articles in the Christian Science periodicals, the hills alongside the Hudson River, and the greening of the lawn after a hard spring rain.
  • I’m grateful for my husband’s growing listener base for his podcast, The Bible Speaks to You.
  • I’m grateful he got his raised beds planted with seeds and that our arugula is already coming up.
  • I’m grateful James and I had a nice Easter. You can see our terrific Easter meal in the last four photos: Swordfish with Herbed Butter Sauce, air-fried asparagus, Beet and Tomato Salad, with Carrot Cake for dessert. We served it on my mother’s plates with my grandmother’s silverware.
  • I’m grateful for the nice family zoom call we shared on Easter afternoon, with all three of our children, as well as our older daughter’s boy friend. Never before have the six of us been together in five different locations. It was precious– so lovely to hang out together; I’m very glad everyone prioritized it.
  • I’m grateful for resurrection! Here’s to new beginnings!
  • And as always, I’m grateful for each of you blog readers for sharing this blog space with me.

Share some of your grace notes in the comments!


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. Dilys 4 years ago

    Thanks, Polly! So good to be reminded of all we have to be grateful for!

    I’m also grateful for a family Zoom for the first time on Easter. Monday. It was hosted by our daughter in Houston and included in various parts of the U.K, my two sisters and our other three grown up children, all their spouses and our seven grandchildren! It was joyful!

    I’m also busily trying out new recipes, some of yours too! Keep them coming!

    Much love x

    • Author
      Polly Castor 4 years ago

      So glad to hear! Our family zoom call was certainly a highlight over here, and one wonders why it took this to do it! Anyway, now we know, for continuing forward. Let me know what you think of my recipes that you try! Happy cooking!

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