Waiting for a thunderstorm.
Our cabin is an inholding in the San Bernardino National Forest. My great-grandmother got the lot lease in 1919. There are flickers and nuthatches in the trees, bear and deer in the shadows, blue-tailed lizards under fallen logs, splashes of lichen in secret places, and coyotes that jabber and shriek under the windows in the dead of night like a witches' sabbath. The cabin has a big stone fireplace in the main room that doesn't warm the place up much, and a big wood stove in the kitchen that does. We heated water on the wood stove and used kerosene lamps until I was twelve. The cabin got an extra bedroom that year, and electricity and an indoor bathroom. A few years ago we finally got a phone. The cabin is bright and peaceful in the morning and a refuge from mountain thunderstorms in the afternoon. At night the surrounding forest is shadowy and quiet, and when there's no moonlight it's pitch dark and the stars are the size of dinner plates. I've gone to the cabin every summer since the year I was born, and my ashes will be scattered there when I die.