Shutters rattled, slate rumbled, Atlantic winds shrieked over granite cliffs guarding Scotland’s Outer Hebrides. The gale slammed against a stone cottage, a mother and child’s home.

Facing the onslaught were two small windows, not so much for viewing the seascape as to let light in, shoo darkness out the only door. Two sturdy chimneys served as bookends to keep the home’s two rooms from blowing away. Howling, growling out there, no matter, inside, mother and daughter snuggled together in bed, under a sheep wool blanket, slept soundly.

Father no longer home, they lost him to the sea.

The ten year old girl up first, bare feet on a fleece rug, placed a lump of peat onto the night hearth. Hand woven mats spaced over a wood plank floor provided passage across the house to the day fireplace. The girl jumped from rug to rug, feet not once touching a chilly bare floor. She laid a slab of peat on coals, leaped back, hopped into bed and said, “Made it Mom.”

Mom placed her warm feet against the child’s cold.