Lighthouse Letters
By Sharma Krauskopf

This is an article by Sharma Krauskopf from Michigan who fell in love with Scotland - and decided to buy a lighthouse keepers' cottage at Eshaness, a remote location in Shetland, in the far north of Scotland and live there each winter. These pages were previously part of the "Scottish Radiance e-magazine Web site which was created by Sharma.

Goodbye to Orbost

Picture of Road Approaching Orbost Skye
by Richard Dorrell via Wikimedia

There is an old adage "For every beginning there is an ending." I often have agreed with that statement but in relationship to Orbost Farm I cannot agree. Orbost Farm, located near Dunvegan on the Isle of Skye is where I first became aware that Scotland was going to become my chosen home. I have told the story many times of being caught in a "sheep jam" at the foot of MacLeod's Tables and falling in love with Scotland. (Graphic of MacLeod's Tables on the right is by John Bennett, via Wikimedia). That definitely was the beginning. Some would say the ending is coming as Orbost Farm is being sold by our dear friends, the Macdonalds. It is a fact that we will no longer spend every January at Orbost but it is not an ending.

My mind and heart are full of wonderful bright memories of our times on Orbost and they will live forever. Simple yet wonderful things like:

*The morning of my first visit seeing three year old Sarah in her "wellies" with frogs on them opening the gate to go to the steading to help her father. This led to my child's story "Child of The Hills".

* The picnic on the hill by Loch Bharcasaig which looks out on the island of Eigg. Graphic on the left of the loch and Eigg in the distance is by Richard Dorrell via Wikimedia). While Margaret and I sipped our tea the girls were collecting daisies which later we made into beautiful chains (See picture of Sarah and the daisy necklace on the right).

*The night Margaret and I drove to the beach to check a cow about to give birth and the steering wheel came loose as we wound down the mountain side.

*The trip in a horrendous gale in which things were flying in front of us like ghosts to pick up my husband at the ferry.

*The nights the electricity went out and we sat with only the warm glow of the coal fire and a kerosene lamp and talked about "our country does this." Some of the discussions around our different countries and cultures would get so involved we would stay up until 2 or 3 am.

*Sarah's birthday party when we hid "sweeties" in the bushes of the garden and we decorated the cake with flowers and made a corsage for the birthday girl.

*The night we cut up the very stubborn salmon which though deceased continued to fight.

*A cold misty walk to the bay seeing the double rainbow which looked as if it surrounded Eigg.

*The day Sarah and I went out to feed the orphaned lambs and I asked her if we should name one of the lambs after me and she replied. "No, because then it would talk funny like you." So much for the American.

*Celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary with a wonderful dinner at an island hotel and the surprise of a Scottish anniversary cake from our wonderful friends.

*Having coffee and tea with the friendly Orbost's neighbors.

*My recent birthday party at Edinbane Hotel. (See archives)

*Falling into a spring in the hills behind the house.

The list could go on and on. Now, back to the subject of why there is no ending. A great many of things I have listed have been put into my writings. They will live forever in that form and hopefully be a source of enjoyment for others in the future. Second, I have these marvelous memory pictures that will always be with me. My intent is to try and put as many of them in writing as I can but if I never do I will still have them. Finally but not the least is Orbost was the beginning of my love affair with Scotland but most of all it was the beginning of a wonderful friendship with Robert, Margaret, Sarah, and Jenny (pictured here) Macdonald. People we have come to love and cherish very much. That friendship will continue without Orbost. The friendship will always contain memories of the farm but it will bring new memories in new places.

I was sad at first when I heard the farm was to be sold but no longer feel that way. I am thankful for the farm's role in helping me find my love for Scotland, the great memories it has given me and the wonderful friendship that began there but will carry on. Definitely Orbost was the beginning and it looks like this time there will be no ending.

Orbost Cottage, Skye

Return to Index of Lighthouse Letters or Index of All Guest Writers

Where else would you like to go in Scotland?

Separator line