One of the minor flaws of the San Francisco Bay area is its lack of thunderstorms. It is less thunderstorm-prone than almost any part of the country. I am sure this is good news for our cat, but the human members of the family love thunderstorms and those of us who grew up in the northeast miss them.

Oaxaca is coming to our aid. It rains a lot in June and July here, and the storm is often accompanied by thunder and lightning. We had lots of lovely rumbles all afternoon today, and I got out my oil pastels and drew the view from our window, looking past the curtains to a big frond-y plant and the door across the courtyard. My daughter declares me an expert in the medium, but I, who have a vision in mind, not to mention a familiarity with Cassatt and Degas, conclude that I really want to learn how to use pastels. It was a lot of fun, but the results don’t even merit the term “novice.” Maybe the next attempt will be just of the plant. It is what really caught my attention.