Victoria’s Secrets: A Love Letter to My Homes

I will miss the peaceful walks on the Westhampton house beach.
I will miss the peaceful walks on the Westhampton house beach.
Victoria Schneps

Have you sold your home and cried? I did twice this year.

When the garage door came down on my last day at my home of 18 years, I sat in my car and sobbed as so many memories ran through my mind.

It was where I lived with my late husband Stu for almost a dozen years until his death and then was home to my daughter Elizabeth and my grandchildren for seven years.

Stu had died in March and my daughter’s husband suddenly died in May, so it was great comfort and joy to have her little family move from Texas to my home in New York.

One of the sweetest memories I will cherish is granddaughter Addy, an early riser, dancing and somersaulting endlessly in the early morning hours. I had to remove the carpet and push the furniture aside to give her more room! Her beautiful smile always warmed my heart.

Another sweet memory was seeing the kids off to school on their first day. I cried as Elizabeth and I waved good bye and took pictures to remember the moment. Each day, I would say, “Good bye. I love you. Have a great day!” I miss those moments.

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

The journey of sifting through the collections of the years began, but it wasn’t just my years of accumulation — but also Stu’s and his children, too!

I found his graduation diploma from Jamaica High School and his certificate from his medical school from over 50 years ago. What do you do with these? I couldn’t bear throwing them out!

Then there were collections of Stu’s daughter Eve’s jewelry making parts, as well as multiple 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 memories?

After buying Dan’s Papers in the East End, my co-op, Westhampton House on Dune Road, wouldn’t work as my full-time home any longer, since it is closed during the winter.

The building is designed like a half-moon facing the ocean and was my weekend getaway. I adored its location on the ocean and I always felt rejuvenated by the ocean views. Walking down the steps to the ocean made it even more magical and always put a smile on my face.

But as I’ve learned “everything has its time,” and my time there was needed to end. When I left the lawyer’s office after the closing to my next-door neighbor, I just cried.

I loved the homes I’ve had and all the memories they held. It was not easy giving them up, but life is about change and I’m learning to go with it.

Kentucky Derby fun

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

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

Greek Easter celebration

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

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

I brought home my lit candle from the vigil.

At 11 p.m., I sat with my colleague Stephanie Bitis near Dr. Peter Michalos and Lisa Liberatore as the lights went dark in the sanctuary. Father Alexander Karloutsos and Rev. Father Constantine Lazarakis, in their luxurious red and gold silk robes, lit the first candle, which was then passed to each person until everyone in the congregation held a long-stemmed cupped candle. With candles in hand, we left the sanctuary to pray in the courtyard. Church bells rang and the voices of everyone praying was a cherished moment in time.

I was told it would bring good luck if I took the lit candle into my home and carefully placed it between my console and the passenger seat. By 1 a.m., we were both safely home.

A sweet end to an extraordinary week!

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