Grace Notes (#54 with Photos)

Grace Notes (#54 with Photos)

Grace Notes #54, gratitude by Polly Castor

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:

  • Our younger daughter was home for about six weeks after graduation. In that time, we moved her into her new place in northern New York State, taught her to drive, she got her license, and she researched cars, test drove a bunch, and bought a nice used one. A week ago she headed off to her new life as a college professor, and is so thankful toward us.  We were grateful to have her here, to go to Boston with her, to play bananagrams together, have chats on the couch, and go on lots of hikes too. We are grateful for her new opportunities, and that we are so good by now at empty nesting! It only took a couple days to adjust to being back to just the two of us. There is certainly a different feeling now that all our children have great jobs and are launched completely. Something truly to be grateful for!
  • I’m grateful that when our large rear tree broke a huge limb (about a third of the huge tree including the top), that it crashed down perfectly sideways, completely missing our house and our picnic table, landing in the only free space available, between. What a protection! And we actually saw it come thundering down. You can see it down in the first two photos below, and the straggly remains of what is left in the rear left of the third photo. Now we have to decide if the whole tree needs to be removed, but for now we are grateful to safely have learned of its weakness.
  • I’m grateful an artist friend from Maine visited us, painting with me for a few days. You can see in the photos below, us printing collage papers and taking over our whole dining room and foyer. She brought asparagus she grew, and surprisingly ended up buying one of my favorite abstract plein air landscape paintings, Spring at New Pond Farm. So grateful it is in such a good home. It was wonderful to have her here and I appreciate her making the long drive to make it possible.
  • I’m grateful I had a painting juried into the top pastel show in the world in June. Quite an honor indeed.
  • I’m grateful for everything I understand and what I can help others understand as well. Understanding is such a healing thing and I love it!  I’m also grateful for clients who are so grateful for the healing work that I do. We deal with hard things but it is a joy.
  • I’m grateful for church friends and expanding extended family (see photos). I’m grateful for my husband’s 95 year old aunt; her grace and stamina are remarkable! I’m grateful our niece got a good job as a string teacher in a better district.
  • I’m grateful for food made by others (see photos). The “strawberry boats” were made by our daughter. The yellow cake with homegrown blackberry sauce was made by a friend. All other food photos are wonderful restaurant moments from the last month.
  • I’m grateful for my husband’s garden. He’s got tons of gorgeous lettuce, fabulous herbs (check out that thriving thyme!), and gallons of raspberries he makes into the best jam that I put on top of skyr. His asiatic lilies are six feet tall, and overpoweringly fragrant. And the hydrangeas are having a very good year!
  • I’m grateful our older daughter has some fun and rather exotic international travel plans coming up! She so deserves it working as hard as she does.
  • I’m grateful I have some time this summer to work and paint, relax and prepare for a busy fall. The breathing room is appreciated since April through June were very full too. I’m also grateful to be teaching two classes in Maine, one at Creative Arts (church) Camp (Painted Paper Collage) at the end of August, and one for the Pastel Society of Maine in October, where we’ll focus on non-traditional methods. I’m also looking forward to some great travel (five trips– two big ones!) not including those classes. So looking forward to all that fun, but also these slower days, when I’m getting some more breathing time in.
  • I’m grateful for Trader Joes (check out my cart), for Costco (took a photo recently of what I bought there), and especially for the income that allows me to pay for groceries. I’m grateful as well for the wonderful protein and fellowship at Community Shellfish and our visits to delicious General Bakeshop in Brewster after church, where they have the best egg sandwiches. I’m also grateful for the farmer’s market, and that we did not invest in a CSA there this year, so we can get only what inspires us. Not getting too many vegetables feels like a vacation in itself.
  • I’m grateful for air-conditioners for these hot days, and for all the rain we’ve gotten– no drought here!
  • I’m grateful my husband’s podcast (The Bible Speaks to You) is going so well.
  • I’m grateful for all the good people everywhere.
  • I’m grateful there was never once recorded in the Bible an instance where Jesus didn’t heal someone when he was asked.
  • I’m grateful for our local state park which I walk in most days the weather cooperates.
  • I’m grateful so many people are praying about the outcome of our election in the fall.
  • I’m grateful for succulents, colorful murals, sugar snap peas, for Tuscan cantaloupes, for nail clippers, Q-tips, and toothbrushes. I’m grateful for water purifiers, freezers, and stoves. I’m grateful for trees and their bark with are endlessly fascinating to me. I’m grateful for lovely well kept architecture. I’m grateful for shorts with pockets on the thighs to carry my phone. I’m grateful for the squirrel that flirts with me right outside my kitchen window. I’m grateful for our daughters fuzzy friends and that she still brings them home to visit us. I’m grateful to have a car that gets great gas milage, and that after car shopping so intently with our daughter, I still like my own most. I’m grateful for fountain pens and journals, paintbrushes, reading good books, and consistent bedtimes. I’m grateful for technology that makes so much of what I do possible.
  • I’m very grateful for all of you dear blog readers who make this blog possible. The world needs us to amplify good together and I’m glad we are all up to doing it. Thank you for reading this blog, subscribing, sharing, and financially supporting it. Thank you for your questions and your comments. Thank you for being you and part of my life. Thank you for making my life better because you are in it.

Put 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. Gillian 2 weeks ago

    Hi Polly – I have been part of the Blog family for a while now, and it has blessed me in so many ways – just recently a post was an answer to prayer …. so GRATEFUL for your amplification of good and no-nonsense approach to questions that need an answer. So, a quiet and deeply felt thank you xx

  2. Christi 2 weeks ago

    Hi Polly I follow your blog and listen to your hubbies Bible speaks to you podcast when I’m able. I’m actually in James’s association as well and have said hello the last 2 years in Boise. I especially appreciate your gratitude (grace notes) post as well as your Bible Lesson notes. Everything you put out is wonderful. If I ever come to Maine I’ll reach out to say hello and thank you to you in person! I am in San Diego- if you ever come this way- don’t hesitate to reach out! I’d love to meet you in person too! Sending love and blessings to you and your beautiful family! Happy for all of your successes and especially working in the practice! It is the most important calling I know!

  3. Susan Krevitt 1 week ago

    Wonderful as always, Polly! (Ditto what Gillian and Christi said above!) You are a Gem.
    Oh! That means we ALL are! Hooray!!


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