The Bandstras

We have lived in Bellingham since 2004, when we left our native New England.  (Aaron’s family is just over the border in BC.)  We thought we’d stay for a year; now we can’t imagine living anywhere else.

After renting the first floor of a historic home in the York neighborhood for a few years, we decided we wanted to own our own historic home in the York neighborhood.  Jeff Braimes showed us a “fixer upper” 1915 Craftsman a block away.  Underneath its tired exterior, Aaron saw potential: 10 foot ceilings and doug fir floors.  I trusted his vision (barely).  A few months later, Aaron began the (ongoing) process of fixing it up.  It’s been a lot of work, but we love our little plot of land in the York Addition. ( Blogger’s note: I thought Aaron & Jessica were insane considering buying this house and in fact refused to show it to them the first several times they brought it up. Jessica was 7 months pregnant w/ Isla and the house was uninhabitable. That they were able to make it safe & sanitary in 8 weeks was nothing short of a real estate miracle. And they have never stopped improving it, patiently coloring in their vision for it one project at a time, ever since… )

We have three young kids, the littlest of whom was born in our mostly-fixed-up home.  The kids spend a good deal of time digging in the dirt in the yard, or walking back and forth through the neighborhood headed for Nelson’s Market or Franklin Park.  I’ve been on the York Neighborhood Association for 7 years.  Aaron is a shipwright and manages a boatyard in the harbor.  When he has time, he heads out to the shop he built in the backyard to listen to podcasts and make lots of sawdust.

We love that we can walk all over town from our little house.  Regular downtown attractions include the Whatcom Museum, the library, Mallard Ice Cream, Fiamma Burger, and any and all parades.  Lately the kids and Aaron have been fishing in Lake Padden and Whatcom Creek, and I’ve  been sitting on my porch swing with the baby, watching the sun set.

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