For our 34th wedding anniversary, on September 6, 2020, I gave my wife, Susan, a gift-wrapped ax. In the last month, two severe windstorms at our place in Connecticut have brought down dozens of large tree limbs. We were very lucky that they all missed the house and barn, but on both occasions fallen trees and branches made the long driveway impassable. My son and I worked in the rain, sawing our way through the fallen trees to make a passage through which we could fit the car.

We needed the path because I had to get my rabies shots. Two weeks ago a bat got into the house. It went whizzing past while I was sitting up in bed, reading. I closed the bedroom door and went to sleep in the guest room. My wife decided that the bat was an object of my imagination and went into our bedroom against my warning. The bat came flapping out. For the next two days we all walked around in a crouch, carrying tennis rackets and croquet mallets, until finally we broke down and paid an animal officer to come and catch the bat and take it away.