One Friday, twenty years ago, my partner Dave came by my office and said, “I’ve been thinking you should get a house.” He and I both lived in Boston, he had bought a house on the Cape, and I guess he thought I needed one too. After all, what are partners for? I had been to the Cape (in Boston they say “down the Cape”), and it wasn’t for me.

That night I told my “significant other” (we were not yet married) about the conversation. “Just suppose you wanted a house,” she said, “would you go back to Sunapee?” I said no – that was from another time, and I was content with my memories. I mentioned that the Monadnock area was supposed to be nice, although that was mostly rumor. I wasn’t quite sure where it was – near Keene, I thought.

I picked up the Boston Globe from the kitchen counter and turned to the real estate section. The stars must have been aligned just right because, as luck would have it, I spotted an ad from a Peterborough broker with the word “Monadnock” in it. Purely on a whim, I called the broker, introduced myself, and lied – I said I was interested in a house. She asked me to be more specific, but since I hadn’t given it a minute’s thought, I didn’t have a ready answer. Finally I said, “Nothing fancy.” I could hear her frown over the phone, but she was cordial and invited us to come up and look around.

With the help of a roadmap we drove to Peterborough the next morning, and Hilda (the broker) showed us four houses. One was on a lake in Hillsborough, which I remembered from having worked at a camp there a long time ago. Two were in Jaffrey, where I’d never been; and one was a log cabin in Rindge. “There isn’t much on the market right now,” Hilda explained, “but if you decide you are really interested, we can keep looking. I’m sure more houses will become available.”

So there we were, having invested a morning on this lark in the country. I asked my lady friend a question. “Which house did you like?” “The second one,” she answered. “Which one did you like?” “I liked the second one too,” I replied.

After a pause I turned to Hilda. “We’ll take the second one.” “Just like that?” she asked. “Just like that,” I said.

Thanks, Dave. Virginia and I like it here.