One of the most devastating moments of my life was when my grandparents’ house was sold. If I’d had the money at the time, I would have bought it to keep it in the family. But of course, with time and perspective, keeping the house would have served no purpose; it was not needed and it might even have become a burden, dealing with renters, or with repairs if left empty. Clinging to the house was purely wanting to cling to the memories of times in the house with my grandparents.
On My Knees
About 11 years ago, my dad announced to us that he was going to be selling his lake home. I had fallen in love with the lake and tried to spend all summer there when possible. My kids have spent every summer of their lives in that house. Therefore it was my hope to keep the house in the family for generations to come. I can remember even praying that I could make enough money and find a way to keep it so he did not have to sell. But he was never really very serious about selling it, or he would have put a price on it that would have sold. In reality, he would only have sold it if he got a super-high price, and I did not have the financial ability to buy it. Reasonable offers were turned down, and the house never did sell. But three summers ago, my family let go, deciding to build our own life in our own place on a nearby lake.
After my dad passed this spring, my family unanimously decided to stay in our own lake home instead of moving back into his, so we put his home up for auction and spent several weeks making the house ready to show. We did some painting and repairs and added a lot of new appliances (my wife did most of the work because I still work full days). Two weeks ago, my dad’s house was sold, and this coming week, the sale will close and it will become the home of the new owners. And, other than the two weeks of cleaning attics, garages, and going through 30-plus years of stuff, we’re ready to say farewell.
Being a Cling-On
The lesson for me is that clinging to something just because of memories is not always the best solution. Though filled with memories of family events and summers with family members present, it’s not the house that made it a home, it was the presence of my dad and his positive spirit. Today, it’s an empty shell awaiting a new family and their own memories.
What about you? What are you clinging to that isn’t serving you well?
You Might Need It Someday
My dad, being a Depression-era child, never threw anything out. In the last two weeks I’ve touched every single paper, every box, every item inside his home, most of which he had not touched or seen in 30 years. How did that serve him? I daresay it caused more stress, knowing that someday he or someone else would have to deal with it. I think we filled up 32 dumpsters, and that doesn’t include everything removed to be put up for auction. Though I’m happy to serve my dad and my brothers, it would have been nicer if he had dealt with those things years earlier. And it’s a reminder that I’ve done the same thing. I still have my saxophone from high school and a garage full of memories I never see. Why?
The last thing I wanted to do this spring and summer was clean out houses, storage units, attics, and closets. Because of deadlines, I was forced to deal with it. Unlike my packed garage at home where I’ve not been forced to deal with it, and I dread ever having to move. It causes stress, and it’s something I need to carve out the time to deal with.
What are you not dealing with?
What things cause you stress, knowing they are looming?
How would you feel if you got those things off your plate this month?
As we enter the fourth quarter, let’s use it for cleansing our minds of the clutter we’re clinging to so we can enter 2022 with a clean slate.
PS: Speaking of 2022, this week I had my executive team up to the lake for a few days of planning 2022. We’re not waiting till the last minute, we’re making a plan now. Creating strategy, dreaming, budgeting, and trying to think ahead so we’re ready to hit the ground running in the new year. It may be something you should be considering now too.
I was due to leave for Russia next week, for two weeks of touring and painting, but sadly, I postponed the trip because of the state of the world at the moment. I had to disappoint a lot of people, and of course I’ll lose the income. But since I was going to be away, I’ve decided to take those two weeks off to recover from a summer of cleaning out closets and attics and the stress of getting the house ready. If I’m here next week, it will probably be a “best of,” and I’ll also be skipping my noon daily broadcasts. Thanks for your patience.
I should mention that we have signed some giant names to our Realism Live virtual conference, and we’ve seen a massive number of people sign up in the last two weeks. It promises to be spectacular for you and your artwork. I hope you’ll consider it.
Once vacation is over, I’ll be at my Fall Color Week painters’ retreat here in the Adirondacks. There is still room for you. Come paint with us.
Happy Labor Day!!
Boy Eric!,was this article meant for me,just ask my friends and family. Been retired for 3 years now and time to get ride of all the baggage.No one ever hauled a U-Haul to heaven!
Thanks for the sound advise. I recently had a significant birthday and after moving “my stuff” a long distance. Well, I moved from a much larger house to a significantly smaller townhouse. My read of your article, is that I don’t want my adult children’s final memories of me to be laden with having to spend an inordinate amount of time sorting through my things just because I thought it prudent to bring all my art supplies, frames, paintings, easels etc. to my new location. Most likely there are newer editions of each now available. I have decided to complete those tasks myself hopefully by Thanksgiving. AND, have more time remaining to enjoy relatives, friends, and the outdoors. What a pleasure that will be!
So perfectly said. At my age, I am learning to let go more easily. I appreciate what you shared and it’s a good reminder of what is important. One thing though, even at my “older” age, I have trouble letting anything go that is related to my art and I still love to learn new techniques. Thanks for all your input.
Having gone down this pathyear ago, this article really resonated with me; my wife is currently going through it so I shared with her.
Very nice article!
Thanks for sharing this bit of information with us Eric. You can’t turn 75 without knowing exactly what you mean about memories. We tend to make memorials out of everything, cluttering up valuable space and time. When it became necessary to downsize my own life after many years, it was difficult to achieve without a lot of emotion spent. There is a cost to saving but also a significant one to letting go as well. But something that helped me was watching the show “Hoarders”, knowing a bit about it in my own life. Taking photos of “things” that I felt were important to remember was and still is an excellent way to remember. In fact, it has even replaced my buying habits. Finding memories that others also shared is good too (like on Facebook or Instagram) Another creative way of caputuring the memories is to use our skills as an artist to paint or draw that memory in your own style. Maybe someday you can even sell some of your work to make more memories of your own.
Having moved nearly a dozen times since my son was born (he’s 18 now), I don’t have much left. There are a few books I could still unload. However, during one move I was forced to leave a beautiful carved Victorian Chair at goodwill. The chair had belonged to my grandmother. It was gorgeous, solid and carved with a beautiful oak leaf and acorn motif. I still think about that darn chair. I hope it found a loving home.
I am 86 and have tried to clear out a lot of clutter and left clear instructions as to legal stuff for my children when I die. It makes life easier for the children and I can go with a calm mind, hopefully.
When my daughters and I cleaned out my parents’ home, I vowed that I wouldn’t leave the same loads of useless stuff. Years of National Geographics! Mom didn’t foresee the digital age coming on, when the grandkids could find everything online. Old,worn-out clothes. Yes, she was a child of the depression too.
I’m doing better, donating usable items and disposing of the rest and trying not to attach sentiment to material things. But I’m far from done with the task and my time is getting short. Keeping handwritten notes,etc. Finding an outlet for memories in my artwork.
Wow. How timely for me! This is the second of your Sunday emails I’ve received and like the first, it really hits a chord with me.
Attending Pastel Live these past 4 days, I’m so looking forward to painting along with some of the recorded demos. But I’ve got too much stuff to get to the easel! Seriously. Many different mediums I’ve dabbled in over the years and many uncompleted. I actually made a facetime “appointment” with a friend for next week who is going to help me sift through those things that I have such an emotional attachment to. I have been stuck for many years, but the winds of change are compelling me to break free. So glad you chose to repost this email!
You always have stories that keep my interest. When your emails come, I always save them to read when I am able, vs the ones I just glance at and discard. You are a very good writer. I identify with lake houses just like yours!😊
Hi Eric, and thank you for this column that is SO relevant! Amazingly, it dovetails with the sermon we heard in church, this morning!: Two men chatting – one asked the other if he wanted to see the easiest way to catch a monkey? “Sure,” he replied. So, the first man went off and brought a couple of things back – a wooden box, and a shiny object. He flashed the shiny thing around, in full view of the monkeys up in the jungle trees, before he put it in the heavy wooden box. There was a small cutout in the top of the box, just big enough for a monkey’s hand and arm to fit through. After a minute, the monkeys came to try to grab for the shiny object in the box. The monkey who got there first, got his hand and arm in the box and felt around for the shiny piece until he found it! Success! But, with it clenched in his fist, his hand was now too big and would not come out, so was caught in the box, too. The monkey ranted and squawked and jumped about but would not release his grip on the shiny prize, even though he was now stuck. The man very easily went and grabbed the monkey. The monkey was willing to lose his life of freedom for that shiny object which would do him no good, in the end. From Fr. Darius.
You’ve touched a nerve here Eric! I have just started addressing my studio full of unsold art!
These are large canvasses, and they are unwanted!
I’ve put a few on eBay at very low prices but no bids! So I’m tossing some, painting over others with white, and with my favourites, I’m removing the canvas and rolling them up.
I’m determined to have a clean minimal environment going forward. So Thankyou for your reinforcement! And good luck with your garage.
Powerful reminder of the things that ‘we might need someday” and 25 years later we still “might need it someday!” My rule is that if I haven’t worn an article of clothing in a year, it goes to Goodwill. I never follow that rule very well…but at least I have a rule I can break regularly!
Thank you — I needed to hear that! 🙂
Thank you for this, Eric. It is exactly what I have been dealing with. Not only currently, but over the past years. Letting go of material belongings, and not confusing them with memories. I am grateful for Sunday Coffee with you.
Thank you for this reminder….I am a single moter 76 years old…who left my grown son and daughter in Ontario Canada…and found a place in St Martins New Brunswick Canada. It was a big move after 25 years in the same house. I gave all the family memorabilis to my daughter, because I felt that it could provide a history of our family for grandchildren. I left behind as much “stuff” as I could, because I felt that when I pass away, iot would only be an extra burden for my children, living in another province. I’m glad that I did that. It has simplified my senior years, living alone.
I can totally relate…however, any time I get rid of ‘stuff’, invariably I will need it in 6 months…never rails.
Thank you for a much needed wake up call,, 89 and still going strong BUT ?
My house is full of paintings I can not or do not want to sell. Most paintings I have given away because a friend of family member wanted it. And that makes me happy where selling a painting only gets me just enough money to buy more paint. However I am putting together a Webpage to let people see my work. At 78, I do not need money but if someone wants a painting and is willing to pay something for it maybe I will have space to store more art. So one day my kids will thank me for not being so nostalgic over these old pieces. Thanks for all the inspiration. Watercolor Live has been great for me and my art is getting better.
This was a great article. Yes, we tend to cling to items that have meaning only to us. Best that we be the ones to deal with all that “stuff” while we’re able to do it ourselves. In my 70’s now, starting to go thru the boxes of my life. Find a few treasures but mostly things that I’ll never use and no longer need. A very smart friend told me recently that one should only keep those things that you would immediately replace in the event of a flood or fire. That made a great deal of sense to me.
I appreciate these weekly articles more than you will ever know! Thank you so much.
Thank you for sharing that ! I dare say that’s the exact story im dealing /fighting with in my life , right down to my father passing except the collection of un needed things are mine … anyway I think you’ve given me enough encouragement to deal with my burden ! I love all your articles and your talent ! Thanks again ! Best of luck ! ✌️💚
Morning Eric, Same thing happened to me after my mother died. I was the executor and almost all the house-clearing work was left to me. Siblings were “too busy.” I vowed then and there to clear out my stuff and live a leaner, less cluttered life. The stress of knowing that my kids would have to do the same for me always was in the back of my mind. Clearing out “stuff” from the past has been liberating. It opened up a whole world of new possibilities that I can explore and focus on, like painting more. Besides, the memories will always be there without the material objects.
Have a good day! BTW, PASTEL LIVE was amazing! Thank you and your team for all the work you did. Looking forward to REALISM LIVE next.
Denise D., Oro Valley, Arizona.
Thank you Erick for your words, they are so TRUTHFUL!!!
Well I guess misery does love company- I am going through very much the same thing. Parents home to clear out and they saved every receipt, every piece of clothing from 74 years together. And I regret that I see myself with the same habits or need to save -just n case. It’s important to see in ourselves how much of what we do is learned from our parents rather than am I actually making good choices. I don’t want my kids to be frustrated with all my stuff yet here I am not doing all I could to clear it. I am a deadline person with my art so I need to be a deadline person with my stuff! Great article, very real. Our stuff affects our lives and our creative process and no always in a good way. Thanks for your personal thoughts on this, it helped!
Thanks working on it! Maybe a weekly rundown ….
Helpful thoughts to seriously consider. I like your style of writing.
Great message. We all have old things to deal with – physical, emotional, and old embedded thought patterns – that require time to be set aside. And I think that it requires certain amount of humility and courage as well. Maybe sometimes the courage and humility have more to do with us putting some of these things off than finding a way to make the time.
I appreciate your expression on this!
I am CERTAIN that this will hit home with many of us. My parents lived with me in the last years of their long lives and So I have been living in a house with my stuff AND theirs. Because there has been a lot of it that is of value (not in the monetary sense) I have worked hard to go through is and see that it goes to the right people and places. It has been a lot (A LOT) of work, but it has also been precious to see and learn things that were their lives. (I just went through about 200 WWII letters written to my mother who faithfully corresponded with those soldiers, one of them her brother. Now they are in the right hands and I had the experience of a time that was full of danger and emotion.) And I have received the grateful thanks from people who could not have possibly known that these things regarding their families existed. BUT, that said, your thoughts on all this are very well taken and I will reassess to see how I can make it work better for me….
After my husband died I was forced to sell our home of forty-seven years that held so many memories of our life together and those of our children. I am not a person who holds onto possession and prided myself on not accumulating anything superfluous. Yet it took me almost year to divest myself of most of the contents of the house. A neighbor once approached me about piles of old furniture and other belongings that were sitting in the driveway waiting for a dumpster to arrive. She indirectly criticized me for throwing out furniture. My response was a question: who would want old stuff that was not in the best of condition? As I watched memories disappear in a truck I felt a great burden had been lifted from my shoulders. I straightened up and reflected on the possessions in my house that remained waiting for me to start my new life. Now in my new home with a dream studio I enjoy the those few remaining possessions that I kept and the memories they reflect.
Well written and oh so true…thank you for that gentle nudge to start taking care of stored business 😉
I enjoy reading your weekly column. As a depression era baby, I especially enjoyed this one. It hit home with me. I am a watercolorist and have a house-full of paintings as well as personal “stuff”. This column inspires me to make the effort to give-away or ,throw-away, so that my children won’t have to struggle with it.
A way to let go….handle the items and audibly say “Thank you for the memories you gave me”… If you get emotional, kiss it and say goodbye. THINGS as well as people want to be thanked. Somehow it gives us closure. Each time we moved or sold a house, I went into each room and did this ceremony. It enabled me to walk out the door and never look back.
After meeting and traveling with you for the Fine Art Connoisseur trip to Italy, I have enjoyed reading your Sunday Coffee with greater interest.
Good Morning Eric,
What great advice in your Sunday Coffee Newsletter today, August 21st! Yes, I’m facing the same cleanup of my condo and studio space as well! I have avoided it for years and now it’s time to go through and throw out!!! Thank you for your good and timely advice!!!
I think we all deal with this at one time or another, my husband and I have been in out ho e over 50 years and have accumulated a over abundance of “things” . Most were either family. Items or gifts from friends. I began riding myself of items last year and guess It will take the rest of this year. It is difficult to part with things that you love but know that you are too old to safely use them agiin is touring bikes , road bikes etc .,but it feels good when a young person is excited to get them . I’ll continue he task until finished. Thank you for sharing
Such good advice! It’s so hard to let go of Stuff! And yes the memories of eating at my grandparents home and being with them are very special to me our kids won’t experience the same feelings that I have for this stuff🤔
Thank you as usual for starting mySunday with these thoughts of not clinging so much to the past.
God bless 🙏
Thankyou!!! I am dealing and doing the same thing right now from my father’s passing and the old farm I grew up on. I really needed this today. I’ve touched papers they held onto from my great aunt’s passing! All the way back to 1925. You’re right-the measurement I am using “is this serving me?” Blessings!
Going though something similar right now. We’ve lived in our home forty years and suddenly I felt I needed a change. Started searching for homes in Carmel and Pacific Grove which I am attractive to this area but no homes matched my criteria and now I am back and forth from wanting to move and get rid of most processions but then sleepless nights bring me to wanting to stay put in my home. I’m indecisive about the future and where I belong in it. Not a good place to be mentally, emotional and even physical because I’m getting upset stomach thinking about all the changes. Great article and relatable.
Perhaps enter “2023” with a clean slate?!!
Really needed to hear this Eric. As usual, you are right on topics that are relevant to us all. Thanks Lisa McKnett
I signed up for Fall Color Week in June. In the original application. there was a choice given for a private room. I checked the box, and was relieved I could do so. This afternoon, I received an email from Jaime offering (because of some cancelations) ” a private room for an additional $500″. I payed the total in June. I was disappointed, because not only is this a gift from my husband, but I told him at the time I was able to get a private room.
I received an email back saying that you do not offer that online. I know you must be very bust now, getting ready, but I needed to correspond directly to you.
Please advise. Sincerely, Chris Williams
You deserve to take a break. Take care of yourself and your family. We will be here for you when you return. We love your writings and how open you are with all of us. All the best to you and your family.
Bob Jones said “Do right, though the sky falls, do right. “ lt is far wiser to fear God than fear man.
Eric, you always give us deep insights and things to think about that no one else does!! Am very grateful for that. Your friend had wise advice, too, about anticipating moral dilemnas before you find yourself in them. I have thought about so many possibilities ahead of time and I know how I would like to react…..and I pray that I would have the inner strength to react well, taking the high road. Always. You point out that that is unquestionably the best route to take and I believe it. Especially appreciate your Scripture quotes. They are balm to the soul. See you in 10 days at Fall Color Week!! YAY! “Are we there yet?”
I always enjoy reading your blog. Thank you for being transparent and challenging me to think a little deeper. God bless you and your wife. Enjoy your break. I live in Australia and could think of nothing more wonderful to join you all painting the colours of fall. I really appreciate all the videos and inspiration even though I can never make it in real life. Bless you for your insights.
Hope you enjoy your time off. It’s good you can do that. It gives us a different prospectus on the world.
Hope you enjoy your time off. It’s good you can do that. It gives us a different prospectus on the world.
Your words are inspiring. At church today, we were reminded to not think of ourselves as the favorite or the best, but instead a servant doing God’s work. I hate what’s going on in our own country, so much evil and separation from the values we grew up with. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.
I’m signed up for Realism live in November and looking forward to it! Each session I’ve been to has taught me so much! It got me to try oils besides watercolors. I enjoy your coffee talk on Sunday. We are trying not too successfully to downsize and de clutter. It is hard to let go or find places to donate a lifetime of things passed on to us you a previous generation especially if there are stories behind each item so thanks for last weeks letter too!
Thanks for that solid and thoughtful advice, Eric.
PS. We’re missing that once-in-a-lifetime Russia trip, too…! 😬
Eric, thank you so much for your truly uplifting message. Are we not to be lights in this world? You are that. I am looking forward to the wonderful convention in November!
I like you have been wronged at times in my life. Even got even with whats good for the goose is good for the gander thing. Its not. Two wrongs don’t make a right.” Vengeance is mine saith the Lord’, Rom 12:19 What goes around does come around but in his good time. I try to take the high road, to forgive. I don’t forget about it but treat it as a lesson learned.
“The right road…”
Whenever my daughter would be in a quandary about someone treating her or a friend terribly, or doing the wrong thing, I would always tell her, no matter what, she should always “put her own best foot forward” and she would never regret the outcome. I still give her the same advice. She is 35.
Thank you for your “chats”.
“A wise friend once told me that you need to answer the tough questions before you face them.” You wrote this in today’s “Coffee” and that sentence contains a profound truth. Making a decision in advance about Who you are, What kind of a life you will live and Person you strive to be does inform the decisions a person makes all through life. I try to help my grandson understand how important this is. This is a wonderful article…thank you for the timely reminder.
Life teaches you that if you stand up for what is right, you will generally stand up alone. Most people would rather look the other way. Be prepared for others to ostracize and treat you as though you are a leper…pick your battles. Todays culture, even in the arts is over run by self interest and marketing and greed. Whatever you do in todays world, dont disagree with main stream publicly…and that even applies to the world of art. Keep your nose to the grind stone and only pay attention to what you believe in. Let God handle the rest. Ultimately He is in control. Let your images and work speak to what is beautiful. Walk around others who choose immorality in their deeds and make a path for yourself, journey toward what you believe is kind and good and uplifting…make that your contribution rather than wrestle with those that choose a path of deceit and self interest. Morality can never be achieved by laws or legistration.
I need some tips on how to sort the things your parents leave behind. I know I can’t take them with me when it is my turn to go and my children don’t seem to care much for their grandparents’ stuff let alone my stuff. HOW DID YOU MAKE THOSE TOUGH DECISIONS????
So where do these boxes full of paintings fall on the spectrum of stuff? Save ‘em or pitch ‘em? I’m thinking save 1 or 2 from each phase of growth.
Like others, just what I needed to hear at this moment! Condolences at the loss of your dad.
Thanks for your inspiring words! It would be a dream to join the painting group in the Adirondacks .. maybe someday} ☺️
Cleaning out my parent’s home in advance of their move to assisted living we came upon a small box in the garage entitled “string too short to save”. They too were depression children. In each successive move they winnowed their belongings but the final move required all four siblings and a grandchild to go through the decades of accumulated family treasures. We all came away with the wisdom to cut down on “stuff”.
I am so sorry for your loss of your father. I still have my parents, mom 96 and dad 98, and they have lived with us full time since 2016. This spring dad finally agreed to sell the family home. 71 years of stuff that they had accumulated and hoarded. We had a dumpster the size of a train car – seriously! Father’s Day weekend 2021 will be remembered because we had a buyer and signed a contract, sold the 3 Kaisers (collector cars) and found an auctioneer to manage the estate sale of personal belongings. All was achieved by closing on Aug. 16. I’m an only child, aged 72, so this fell to me to accomplish, but I feel like the weight of the world has been lifted off my shoulders. Now to tackle some of my accumulated stuff and it is a good idea to do that clearing this month.
I’m signed up for Realism Live again and am looking forward to the event. You have lined up some fantastic artists and I can hardly wait.
Hi Eric, is the Realism Live for watercolor artists also?
When my friend died of cancer several years ago, his death changed my perspective or and attitude towards “stuff”. Over a period of years, I got rid of many stuff. Some stuff had fond memories and some do not have any, but they are all just stuff. There was nothing everlasting about that stuff. They cannot come along with me when I crossover to the other side.
After many years, I am still getting rid of stuff. They seem to multiply behind my back. I joking say to my friends, “They are breeding behind my back.” Of course, breeding was my euphemism.
When I was diagnosed with cancer (I am okay now), it cemented my attitude about material stuff. I learned to let go of material stuff and to cherish the memories that are everlasting. They are priceless.
Good reminder, Eric. Thanks. I think we all ‘know’ this is true, but somehow we all struggle with getting rid of things. It does require a commitment and concerted effort to purge, but it sure brings a sense of accomplishment and freedom once it’s done.
That was a really lovely article Eric— thank you so much. How did you know about the state of my cupboards I wonder!
Thanks for this! I’m dealing with these exact issues!
Bless you, this article really hit home. I am 87 and have a ton of stuff I haven’t used in 30 years. I am going to get rid of most of it to lessen the burden on my three kids, Thanks again for the insight.
Wow your message today really hit home. Unfortunately I also am on a time crunch to clear out “my” stuff. I am moving on from the home/ranch I have lived on for more than ½ my life. I have to clear out so much, oh so, so much. it is overwhelming. After reading your morning coffee I am going to do my best to look at each item and ask “dose it serve me well? ,” and Toss, sell and dispose of what dose not serve me well. If I truly follow that philosophy I may not need a moving truck to move my “stuff” ½ way across the country. Thanks for the message.
Wonderful, as usual! Had the same reckoning with releasing the past after losing my father in 1994. Learned that I will always carry the really important things in my heart.
Enjoy your rest and look forward to the next time we’re together – Santa Fe?
I love your article. I have been where you are with all of my grandparents, parents, a brother, and a husband. I t is a hard task to empty a house. I have remarried and we bought a house on a lake in East Texas. I told my husband I will not be moving from this house until they bury me.
I am 77 now and feel blessed that we are still in our Lake house. Your Sunday coffee article
made me stop and remember the packing and cleaning days.
Eric, how wise!! My family too had folks who lived during the pre WWII era and clung to everything possible to the point of accumulating far too much. I decided to donate much of that, attempting to sell on Ebay or otherwise would cost more time and money than they’re worth, so I just let go. By the way this is a form of charity during our current hard times.
Great article to which so many of us can relate.
Question – what kind of saxophone? Tenor? Alto? Maybe it’s time to pull it our and play it again. I still have my Tenor and Alto saxophones and enjoy playing them occasionally. It’s like getting together with an old friend.
Its remarkable how some of us lead parallel lives. I’m facing the garage full of memories to clear out this summer too.
Thx Eric for making me see how important it is to get this done
So very true for so many of us. I love antiques and am glad to say that I do display many of them. I love to wonder about who owned the item, what were they like, what was their life like and so on and so on. Sometimes I get lucky and actually find out who owned a particular item and there are even times I am able to find research about them as well. Do I ever acquire too much, I’m afraid so but over the years I have learned to weed out certain items.
Your understanding of human nature is another gift you have. Its like having an old friend in the house, sharing about things we should do…would like to do….if only….I truly enjoy the Sunday Coffee Notes!
This subject fits my husband to a T! He’s hanging on to some old family property that serves no purpose for him, whatsoever.
This letter has impacted him in a very strong way. We’ll see what comes of it. Thank you, Eric.
Yes indeed that’s where I am at present…very melancholy over memories of past. Crucial decisions of moving back east as well.
Would really like to join you all painting in the Adirondacks in the future.
Thank you Eric for your philosophical insights….much needed at this time
Gosh…TOSSING must be in the air!! A patron who lives in Pennsylvania wrote a few days ago, about all the “stuff” he was tossing or giving away…things he no longer uses. I had to laugh, cause I was doing the exact same thing! Started with the last art show a few weeks ago! Let go of 3 large paintings, very OLD, to 3 people who really liked them, for a small fraction of their market value! As I told them: “I’d rather it be on THEIR wall, than in my stacks.””
Even to the trivial things like store bought dog bones my little guy won’t eat! Got 3 HUGE bags given to 3 friends with 2 dogs each! So, even my Pooch is letting go of stuff.
Definitely feels great! Must be something in the air, for so many of us on this same path!!
When one is as old as I am (101!,) one lives on memories. Keep on living to the fullest to get a lot of wonderful ones for your old age!
Being 101 years old. I have many memories. I lived through WW2 in Berlin which was not a fun time when we were bombed night by night, sitting in the basement, listening to the planes above us. When young girls usually start meeting boys and go to dances, our young fellows were at the front, and we often received our letters back with the remark”died for Germany”. Still we were going to work, went to theatres, met with girl friends and laughed and swam in the rivers at summer or in pools in winter. The end of the war was terrible. Our houses were destroyed, work was just cleaning up the ruins, and the worst were the Russians. Well, even this desolate time passed, normal work started slowly. I managed to cross the border to the West and even to Austria to marry my boyfriend after a long sparation. Life in Austria was hard, so we emigrated to Canada where we found work and prospered. It had been a good choice.My husbad passd awqay some years ago, but my 2 grand- children visit me now in an Old Age Home.
Eric, how wise!! My family too had folks who lived during the pre WWII era and clung to everything possible to thebpointbof accumulating far too much. I decided to donate much of that, attempting to sell on Ebay or otherwise would cost more time and money than they’re worth, so I just let go. By tge way this is a form of charity during our current hard times.
I need to get rid of several more things myself. I just got out of horses last year, but selling my tack has been extremely painful. I still have more to let go of, but I had to take a mental break. Sometimes I feel I’ll get back into horses, get another trailer, a couple more quarter horses, the market is so strong right now, the good ones are selling for 100,000+, which is out of my reach. I would so love to be at that fall color week, but like many, I am afraid to travel, live in Wisconsin, so would have to fly out there, rent a car and worry I don’t get sick. At 64, I know that’s not old old, but I am just much more cautious. Really enjoy your Sunday newsletter, keep them coming, I look so forward to your words of wisdom each week, thank you
I LOVE you Sunday letters! They always inspire me in some way. You are a fabulous writer! And a great artist too! Congratulations on your recent sale! Lynn
Dear Eric, I am very glad that you are wise enough to take some time off. That is probably something you have written about in the past, I’m guessing. But life works best when in balance (you can quote me) and that is what you are doing. I think you make good choices and that includes the hard decision to postpone the Russia trip, I’m sure.
You have been an incredible trooper with all you did for so many of us throughout the last year plus.
Enjoy and relax in your personal time out of the lime light. You not only need it, you deserve it very much.
Thanks so much for sharing your personal stories and arranging for the fabulous videos. You have brought so much light into the darkness of the past year and a half.
Thank you for sharing your wisdom with us. Be blessed, Eric.
When we hoard times past, and even work in the studio that reminds us where we were, we clutter the future. When editing work or memories, we are forced to prioritize what was and what remains to show us who we are and what we truely value. The past pieces that still inspire us, directs us in the present and future work. Those memories and small sketches that we hang onto, also are windows to our personal integrity and character. One never needs to look through art magazines nor visit a workshop or copy a current master to find direction. All one needs to do is look within, not outside ones self. It is the special fragmented memory, small sketch, a quote or a part of a sonata that was particularly meaningful in the past and fills our heat with the same impassioned energy today. Use those fragments of yourself to remember who you are. Be careful what you throw away and more importantly, keep the positive notes of forgiveness and gratitude closest to your heart….the rest is God’s business, not yours.
Mr Rhoades, this is the best article you have ever written that gives real direction for people to move forward and to introspectively go within,
Want to come to and I am signed up but haven’t gotten any information on where to come to. I plan on driving from Mn and need an address to drive to and all the other information. Please. Thank you.