I'm the kind of person who skips to the conversation when reading a book.

A Quintessential Question

Grace, Hannah, and I were riding in the car the other day and talking.  The best conversations happen in the car. Grace was prattling on and on about something.  She often does this and occasionally interjects, “Do I talk too much?”

I always reassure her, “No, I like to hear what you think.”

party mansion Grace was prattling. Prattling, prattling, prattling.  “Someday, when I’m rich, I’m going to have two houses.  One will be really big, with a hot tub, and a swimming pool, and I’ll have lots of friends over all the time.  The other house will be a cabin way off on a mountain surrounded by woods.  It will be so far out in the middle of nowhere that I’ll need to have a helicopter to get there.”

“What if,” I asked, “you could only have one house.  Which one would you choose?”

“But I’m rich,” she countered. “I can have both.”

“Nope, you’ve got to choose.”

She squirmed a little in her seat. I could tell that she really didn’t want to choose.

remote cabin“Well….” she said, drawing it out as the little gears in her brain turned. “If I’m not rich, I don’t have a helicopter to get the mountain cabin.”

“There are trails that lead there,” I told her.

“But the trails are really steep and hard to climb,” she said. “It would take at least two days to get there on foot.”

“So?” I asked.

“I’d pick the big house,” she decided, “but I would make one part of it private, that nobody else could go in, except me.”

“That’s cheating,” I told her, because she had avoided the basic question. To me, this had become a quintessential extrovert/introvert determination.

“What would you choose?” she asked me.

I replied without a moment’s hesitation, “The remote cabin.”

“But you’d have to walk to get there,” she said.

“Yep,” I replied.

“And how would you get your groceries?” she asked.

“I would live off the land, and once a year, I would walk two days into town and two days back with the things I really needed,” I said.

She looked at me incredulously. “Really?” she asked.


Clearly my little extrovert wasn’t buying what I was selling, so she turned the conversation to her sister.  “Where would you live, Hannah?”

Hannah didn’t pause either. “In the cabin,” she said.  “With Mom.”


2 comments on “A Quintessential Question

  1. Verity Keen
    January 31, 2013

    Aw 🙂 I think you were a little hard on her… some questions are just too hard to answer. I’ve always wanted two houses too, a winter and a summer one

    • sarahlangdon
      January 31, 2013

      You’re right. It was a hard question. And it is fun to dream of being wealthy.

      I should have told her I would come visit her on my annual trek into town. Maybe then it wouldn’t have seemed so hard. 🙂

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