Grace Notes #35 (with Photos)

Grace Notes #35 (with Photos)

Grace Notes #35 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 taken photographs of some of them with my iPhone, which you can see in this post.

So let’s start this gratitude list with:

  • The first eight pictures below are from a family reunion in Texas (a post travel-ban bash including a memorial service and bridal shower). I wish we could have been there, and I’m grateful for a constant stream of photos forwarded to help us feel included. I am beyond grateful that I married into a family that I want so much to be with! I daresay, not everyone feels that way about their in-laws, so this feeling is truly a gift. These people are fabulous, and I’m so grateful they are in my life. I’m glad our older daughter was able to go. Also check out this sweet speech from our niece’s groom-to-be at the bridal shower. I’m so grateful they’ve found each other and are happy! I’m grateful we’ll travel to their wedding in the fall.
  • The rocks above have been in a corner of our dining room for fifteen years or so, and I was grateful for them there, but I’m also glad they have now moved outside into the garden near our picnic table, where they look so content. Each one was brought back from a blessed vacation, and is wrapped with memories that I’m also grateful for. Each one is also a reminder of the beauty of being worn down over time, with all those sharp edges now rounded and smooth. I’m grateful to see layers of meaning in so many things. Having these shift outside symbolically marks a fresh segment of time for our home.
  • I’m grateful for some weird sky color lately, that you can see below, unchanged by technology. Nature has so many combinations and I thrill to most of them! This is true even of that furry spider that was over an inch long on the hood of my car, who I helped off into the library parking lot so I wouldn’t bring him home, and that massive (six inch diameter) snake that rustled next to me in a tree lakeside, while on a Friday night date. All of this is fascinating and miraculous to me.
  • I’m grateful for fancy chocolates, and for a BLT salad made for me by a friend. Yes, I’m grateful for food made by others, and for being a vegetarian/pescatarian who makes an unapologetic concession about eating bacon.
  • I’m grateful for seeing abstraction everywhere, as in that odd photo of a scrappy building below.
  • I’m grateful for my daily walks at Huntington State Park.
  • I’m grateful for new sandals with high arches.
  • I’m grateful to talk with both daughters and both sisters regularly, and that all four are doing well.
  • I’m grateful for all these babies on both sides of the family that I haven’t met yet!
  • I’m grateful my husband and I play cribbage most days directly after dinner. This has become a really a fun tradition, when the two of us are on our own.
  • I’m grateful for a new Japanese watercolor set (shown below) and available here. I’m calling them “gouache” since they are more opaque than what I think of as watercolors, which to me is a good thing. The color range is also fabulous.
  • I’m grateful for all the quaint old houses in our neighborhood.
  • I’m grateful for my husband’s garden, both the flowers and veggies.  Right now the raspberries, garlic scapes, hydrangeas, hollyhocks, zinnias, and lettuces are fabulous.
  • I’m grateful for the local farmers and the gorgeous produce available there.
  • I’m grateful for all the volunteers and donors who make the Newtown library sale possible.
  • I’m grateful for our quarry swimming hole and the two days so far in July that the weather was nice enough to go swimming there (see photo below). I’m grateful for all the many days of rain we’ve had too, for everything is very green and it has been conducive to buckling down and working on the big project we’ve been working on.
  • I’m grateful for my husband who has been working with me on this huge project– for his patience and ability to figure hard things out one step at a time. I’m grateful it has been fun working on this together, even though it is (and has been) a long, hard chore. (Calm down that flaring curiosity; we’ll be ready for a reveal before the month is out!) Even though we’re not done, I’m grateful  for the vast progress that has been made, and the stick-to-itiveness we have both manifested.
  • I’m glad I have a real fun August planned: a nine day camping trip in remote northern Maine with our youngest, then a 40th anniversary party in Virginia, then bouncing back to Maine for an artist-in-residency at Creative Arts Camp. I’m glad I have this (and the wedding in Louisiana in the fall) to look forward to.
  • I’m grateful my husband’s podcast The Bible Speaks to You is growing into 109 countries. I’m very grateful he has this outlet, and for all the people that are helped by it. I’m grateful too that one of his podcast contemporaries just interviewed me on hers! I’ll let you know when it is out, so you can give it a listen. I had a great time conversing with this lovely, likeminded person (who is now a new fellow blog reader of yours) about amplifying good, not limiting yourself, being authentic, cross-pollinating, and following your bliss.
  • I’m grateful activity begets activity.
  • I’m grateful for nice healings in the practice and for new and former clients.
  • I’m grateful to have a new one woman show scheduled for November, and another show planned in a winery in December.
  • I’m grateful for the plein air painting retreat I went to in June and for the new friends there.
  • I’m grateful for all of you blog readers, you faithful, dear long-time ones, and those of you that are new as well. If you are one of my many new readers, let me know how you found this quietly affirming, brilliantly colored, corner of the internet. I would be very curious to know, and am so grateful all of you are here, sharing this space with me.
  • I’m grateful for understanding that Truth, Life and Love are God– infinite, all-powerful, ever-present, and good. This knowing makes such a vast difference in my experience.

Add some of your own grace notes to 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. John gregory 3 years ago

    I collect rocks and shells from trips but not in the orderly fashion you do. The black widow looks lovely…thought it a chocolate at first🧡

  2. Jeriann 3 years ago

    And I love how you so unapologetically cherish your husband! You two so beautifully compliment each other and that last photo says it all!

  3. Jennie OConnor 3 years ago

    I’m so glad I saved this post to read…my heart is full. Thank you for the shout out as well. This might be my favorite part: “a vegetarian/pescatarian who makes an unapologetic concession about eating bacon.” You certainly know how to live life well. I’m blessed to know you.

    • Author
      Polly Castor 3 years ago

      And I am blessed to know you as well.

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