Editor’s note: This series of blogs was written last year by Anneli Carter-Sundqvist about her and her husband Dennis’ adventures homesteading and running a hostel on Deer Isle. The entire year of blog posts are contained in the book A Homesteader’s Year on Deer Isle (see www.deerislehostel.com).

We opened the hostel for the season this past weekend. We’re off, we’re going, we’re on a roll.

It’s happening. No bells or whistles, no fireworks, no standing ovations. Merely an acknowledgment that if anyone would call we would have to be ready to take them in. No one called. No one dropped in. No one even came by for a tour. That was all fine with me, as I know from experience that before the season is over just about everyone I can handle will call, drop by or want a tour.

Summer on Deer Isle is for me closely connected to swimming in the pond. For all the pretty coves and hidden beaches there are along the ocean, the fresh water pond is my first pick for summer soaks. Honestly, more than once I’ve thought, if not for the pond, I could go without summer. Too warm, too buggy, too much traffic. But if the water is warm enough to swim in, I can take the rest.

Even at other times of the year I find myself visiting the oblong body of water, with its shiny ice in the winter and its bare trees in spring. It’s a great place, year round, to sit down and gather my thoughts.

The pond is still too cold to swim in, but it lingers in my thoughts, both because I long for the magical morning swims and because the image of submerging is what comes to mind as the island switches over to summer mode.

From here on, everything will pick up its pace. The summer businesses will open, the year-round businesses soar, lobster boats set out each day and the carnival of out-of-state vehicles swing into motion. In my mind I see us all—Dennis and I, our friends, neighbors and community members, those we have spent the winter with and all of us who rely on the summer season for our winter needs—I see us all in union waving bye-bye to each other and with a deep breath plunging fearlessly into the Deer Isle summer. We swim and swim under the surface of all this and air bubbles rise as we try to breath slowly through our snorkels, one breath at the time, without choking.

At the other end of this four-month swim we appear again and shake hands.”Good job,” we tell each other. “Well swum.”

Ahead of Dennis and me lies another hostel season, full of guests and tours and phone calls, communal dinners, bonfires, morning coffees and check-ins and check-outs. One day, at the other end, we will sit here alone again and look back at it all wondering how it passed by so quickly.