She concocted the gourmet spreads at home in Forest Hills, Queens ; he chopped the ingredients. She cultivated the flower garden in Dutchess County; he whacked the weeds. Compatibility was the essence of Don and Nancy Mauro's 18- year marriage. Mr. Mauro recalls falling in love with his future wife at first sight. Introduced by her sister one wintry Friday during happy hour at a Manhattan bar, they became an item in the course of an evening that ended with him walking her to the subway and kissing her good night — but not goodbye — beneath the twin towers.
Nancy Mauro, 51, studied fashion design and spent two years on Seventh Avenue, then switched to computer technology after realizing that she did not enjoy the clothing trade backbiting (though she never lost her radar for a good sample sale). Mr. and Mrs. Mauro both worked for Marsh & McLennan; he at Marsh Aviation in Midtown, where his office windows faced downtown toward hers on the 97th floor of 1 World Trade Center. His office provided a grotesque vantage point on Sept. 11; he watched as the unspeakable happened, the whole time surrounded by screaming colleagues.
Early on they agreed that theirs would be a childless marriage. Both city kids who had never known anything but apartment living, they fulfilled a dual dream two years ago by buying a weekend house in Red Hook. Naturally, both fell in love with the same place at the same moment. 'The second one we looked at,' said Mr. Mauro. He has trouble going there now. 'That house is really her.'