Amidst Some Painful Endings

When I was younger, endings used to sneak up on me and smack me in the head.

Having lived a little more life, I can see them coming. “See” might be the wrong word—I can feel the impending sense of several endings starting to coalesce.

Even though I am aware that things will soon change, no amount of forethought or planning will really prepare me. Plus, the time I spend preparing would be time lost enjoying the remaining time.

The impending doom I feel made this quote resonate with me as a nugget of hope to cling to moving forward.

Sea Oats

If you’ve reached this page via a QR code from the FSGC plant sale, welcome! You would like to learn more about this plant.

Sea Oats Union Paniculata are also referred to as Northern Sea Oats.

Sea oats have deep roots that are helpful for soil stabilization. In the southeastern U.S. they can be found along the beaches and they are often dune builders. They trap blowing sands in their firmly anchored clumps.

They spread by rhizome and seed. The more sun they get, the taller they get.

Mine are planted behind my pond which gets afternoon shade, and they grow to around two feet tall. I find the flickering seed heads caught in a summer breeze as mesmerizing to watch as rushing water or crackling flames.

Sun/partial shade
2-8 feet tall
Average to moist soil

I first saw them in a field at the Chicago Botanic Gardens, and the impression stayed with me. On more recent visits to the CBG, I haven’t seen them again—it could be they were too invasive. They’ve been planted by my pond for three to four years now, and I do find them in other locations.

Sea Oats’ seeds. Photo by Nan Mellem, 2017.

I cut mine back in the spring because the tan leaves and flickering seeds cling to their stems and the plants stand tall through the winter snow. Snipping them off before the new growth starts makes for easy clean up.

Visit the Sea Oats Wikipedia page to learn more:

Urban Sketching With Mom

Mom and I enjoyed a low key Mother’s Day meet up at Starbucks in Lake Forest. There was a table available in the courtyard, and we sipped and sketched.

Mom wielding her Micron with a fierce flare and intense concentration.
Lake Forest has done some wonderful things with their alley ways. I would love to see Kenosha do the same. The trash will not be seen.

Happy Mother’s Day

First things first, I hope you all have a very happy Mother’s Day.

This was done on a Canson postcard and it has since been mailed. I made three to send to my Mom, Stepmom, and Godmother.

When I was thinking about the concept of Mother’s Day, brought to us by the greetings card industry, I realized I should probably make 1,576 of these postcards (give or take 57). There are so many women who’ve passed through my life and shared their caring nature, advice, comfort, meal in a nurturing way.

There have been mentors and anti-mentors whose example I’ve drawn from or avoided in order to shape the woman I am today. This is an ongoing, unending project. I could make a career out of thanking all of them.

I hope I have nurtured others in return.

The way people care for each other is the foundation for civilization. Enjoy a happy Nurturing Day everyone. Give your Mom an extra hug if you are fortunate enough to be with her today.