The Hostel Homesteader’s August

Reader Contribution by Anneli Carter-Sundqvist
article image

Suddenly, as if we’ve been transported in time, we’re all the way through August and the summer won’t last forever anymore, barely only for a few more weeks. As always, I don’t know how it happened, where it went or where the first signs of fall came from. All I know is that suddenly the peak of the season is past us and ahead is a slow winding road to the silent winter.

I’ve spent days thinking about this blog entry and what to write – something interesting, something on the top of my mind, perhaps educational, slightly radical. But what’s on the top of my mind has best been described visually; by a flat palm held an inch from my face; all I could think of is what’s been right here. The pig pen that needed to be moved, a sunny day to paint the corner boards of the chicken house. Remember to check the brassicas for caterpillars, remember to pick the onions soon, swoop out the mushroom logs, pick them, sell them. We had our big FarmFeast dinner event; three days before I still didn’t have plates, my car that I needed for fetching the 10 tables and 30 chairs with had a hole in the gas tank and the morning of the event the musician called to cancel. In 4 days from now, I have a workshop in organic gardening that I only remember thanks to the ads someone else posts. I have another, slightly major, undertaking in three weeks from now that I should start to worry about. But what’s the point? My palm is still already close enough to my face I can’t see beyond it.

The summer doesn’t so much slip our fingers as it escapes us with a wild roar. I’ve already seen the signs; the first yellow leaves, the golden rods, the steam from my mouth one early morning. Sure, there are still summer ripe peaches to eat and my annual swim across the pond. Still a number of guests whose presence we’ll enjoy. I don’t know where the summer went or where it’s going after leaving, but the hectic road will nevertheless wind and end in winter and I’d lied if I said I haven’t enjoyed it just as I’d lied if I said I didn’t long for fall.

Anneli Carter-Sundqvist live with her husband Dennis on an island off the coast of Maine on a highly self sufficient, off the grid homestead. In the summer, they run the Deer Isle Hostel on the very same farm, providing budget accommodation, positive-impact living education and a unique experience for 100’s of travelers. They recently got awarded The Homesteader of the Year 2013 by Mother Earth News and the Best Budget accommodation in the Down East Magazine.