A love letter to my homes

Have you sold your house and cried? I have done it twice this year.

When the garage door came down on my last day in my 18-year-old home, I sat in my car and sobbed as so many memories flashed through my mind.

It was there that I lived with my late husband Stu for almost a dozen years until his death, then I lived in my daughter Elizabeth and my grandchildren for seven years.

Stu had passed away in March and my daughter’s husband passed away suddenly in May. So it was a great comfort and a great joy to see his little family move from Texas to my house in New York.

One of the sweetest memories I will treasure is granddaughter Addy, an early riser, who dances and does endless somersaults in the wee hours of the morning. I had to remove the carpet and push the furniture aside to give it more room! Her beautiful smile has always warmed my heart.

Another sweet memory was seeing the children going to school on the first day. I cried as Elizabeth and I waved goodbye and took pictures to remember the moment. Every day I would say, “Goodbye. I love you. Have a nice day! ”I miss those times.

Then the pandemic struck and everything changed. My family moved out and I decided it was time to downsize and sell the house.

The sifting journey through the collections of the years has begun, but it wasn’t just my years of accumulation – but also those of Stu and his children!

I found her high school graduation from Jamaica and her medical school certificate over 50 years ago. What do you do with these? I couldn’t bear to throw them away!

Then there were collections of jewelry from Stu’s daughter Eve, as well as several wedding and family photo albums. I think the hardest part of the move was going through a lifetime of memories, both sweet and bittersweet. But where do you store your memories?

After purchasing Dan’s Papers in the East End, my co-op, Westhampton House on Dune Road, will no longer function as my full-time house as it is closed during the winter.

The building is designed as a half moon facing the ocean and was my weekend away. I loved its location on the ocean and always felt rejuvenated by the ocean view. Going down the steps to the ocean made it even more magical and always made me smile.

But as I learned “everything has its time”, and my time there was needed to finish. When I left the attorney’s office after closing at my neighbor’s house, I cried.

I loved the houses I had and all the memories they had. It wasn’t easy to let go of them, but life is about change and I’m learning to go for it.

Kentucky Derby fun

It’s good to have friends and when Todd Shapiro suggested it would be fun for Dan Papers to organize a Kentucky Derby party, I immediately said yes.

Hosted by Zach Erdem, owner of the beautifully restored 75 Main and Blu Mar Hamptons in Southampton, we cheered on my friend Brendan O’Brian’s horse, Hidden Stash, at 6:57 PM with the thronging crowd on the race. What a way to kick off the summer season!

Greek Easter celebration

Being a curious person, I was fascinated by how Greeks, like Jews, have a week of celebration and prayer.

I was invited to Dormition of the Virgin Mary Greek Orthodox Church of the Hamptons for a service at the sacred midnight candle.

I brought home my lit candle from the vigil.

At 11 p.m. I sat down with my colleague Stephanie Bitis near Dr Peter Michalos and Lisa Liberatore as the lights went out in the sanctuary. Father Alexander Karloutsos and Reverend Father Constantine Lazarakis, in their luxurious red and gold silk robes, lit the first candle, which was then passed on to each person until everyone in the congregation held a long-stemmed cup-shaped candle. Candles in hand, we leave the shrine to pray in the courtyard. The church bells rang and the voices of all who prayed were a precious moment in time.

I was told it would bring good luck if I took the lighted candle at home and carefully placed it between my console and the passenger seat. By 1 a.m. we were both safe and sound at home.

A sweet end to an extraordinary week!

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About Aaron Humphreys


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