2012 Musical Fire Truck Bainbridge Island | Jen Pells Realtor

2012 Musical Fire Truck on Bainbridge Island starts December 11th.

The Bainbridge Island Musical Fire Truck is getting into gear once again – this year it starts on December 11th and spreads musical joy around the island until Christmas Eve. Find your neighborhood on the map below (click map for larger version).

The lighted, musical truck, driven by the Bainbridge Fire Department is out in the evenings from 5-9pm. Every year we enjoy gathering with our neighbors in our cul-de-sac, watching, waiting, (shivering) and listening for the firetruck.  The kids go pretty crazy as you can imagine.  This tradition, which started back in the 1950′s, goes on my list of things considered “So Bainbridge.”

Bainbridge Island Christmas Truck Route 2012 | Jen Pells Bainbridge Realtor

CLICK IMAGE FOR A LARGER VERSION. Bainbridge Island Christmas Truck Route 2012.


All roads are not listed. Look and listen for the music truck in your neighborhood between the hours of 5:00 to 9:00 pm.

Mon 12/11  – Area 1: Fort Ward area including Tani Place, West Blakely, Country Club, Toe Jam Hill, South Beach
Tue 12/12 – Area 2: Point White/ Crystal Springs area including Baker Hill West, Sorrell, Palomino, El Cimo
Wed 12/13 – Area 3: Eagledale area including Rockaway Beach, Taylor Ave, Barkentine, Bill Point
Thur 12/14 – Area 4: High School Rd to Lynwood Center including Island Center, Vincent, Baker Hill east Lytle and Beck Rd area, Pleasant Beach
Fri 12/16 – Area 5: Wardwell area, New Brooklyn Rd, Sands Ave, Fletcher Bay
Sat 12/17  – Area 6: Battle Point area, Meadowmeer and Olympic Terrace
Sun 12/18 – Area 7: Manzanita, Henderson Rd and Seabold Rd, Day Rd west and Hidden Cove West
Mon 12/19 – Area 8: Reitan Rd, Dolphin Dr and Agate pass area, West Port Madison, Manual Rd, Hidden Cove east, Euclid and Port Madison Area
Tue 12/20 – Area 9: Phelps Rd, Sumanee, North Madison Ave, Windsong, Lovgreen, Winther
Wed 12/21 – Area 10: Sunrise Dr and side roads, Manitou Park, Manitou Beach and Murden Cove
Thur  12/22 – Area 11: Ferncliff Ave and side roads, Grand Ave, Yeomalt Point and Wing Point area
Fri 12/23 – Area 12a: Sportsman Club, North Town Woods, Capstan, Commodore Ln, Weaver Rd
Sat 12/24  – Area 12: Winslow from 305 to Weaver Rd, High School Rd to Eagle Harbor Rd


On December 6, 2012, in Activities, Community, Events, Neighborhoods, by

Jen Pells | Realtor on Bainbridge Island

A One Way Ticket

Last week marked our five year anniversary of living on the island.  It really does seem like yesterday that our lives were loaded onto a large orange moving truck and we bought a one-way ticket to fly up to Seattle.

I have spent a lot of time reflecting on our five years here lately, especially since I have helped three new families arrive on Bainbridge in the last couple of weeks.  All three of them came here for many of the same reasons we did.  More often than not the move to Bainbridge is a deliberate one. And it is a recurring theme I get to relive with my clients.  Three of my clients physically arrived on the island in the last few weeks and I have talked to just as many more who are actively plotting their course to arrive next summer.

People don’t get stuck here or accidentally stumble upon Bainbridge.  People typically discover Bainbridge when they are looking for somewhere better than the status quo.  We left a big city.  We left crime, crummy schools, poor air quality, traffic.  We came to Bainbridge for that ‘change of pace’ you hear me talk about a lot in my blog.  A slower pace, a ferry commute, top-rated small schools, beaches, a small community . . . a place where we could breath, literally and figuratively.

The Deliberate Move

But getting here, making the leap to move, do something, go somewhere better is easier said than done.  Getting to Bainbridge took us three years from idea to reality. This is a very common thing. There is often a new job involved and a home to sell.  It was a journey for us and I enjoy taking the journey with others.But I talk to just as many people who don’t make the move here, but want to. They end up staying because of work or family or roots or just because it is easier. And I SO get that.  Change is hard.  A big move to a place where you essentially start over is exciting for some but scary for others.  I talk to people all the time who know they are living in a situation they want to make better. But getting from A to B is not just one step.  Some of them I have talked to for years and they rev up the idea, then drop it. Then the notion of moving keeps tapping them on the shoulder and their email pops back in my inbox.

Jen Pells | Realtor on Bainbridge Island

Five Years Ago . . .

Five years ago we moved into a very funky mid-century modern home.  In the past five years we have gutted it and are pretty much on the other side of the renovation project.  We added many things like wood floors, new kitchen and baths, a deck, a fence, a garden, a studio  . . .  I am happy the Aztec inspired berber carpet is becoming a distant memory and although a modern cottage style home is still my style preference, I have embraced the mid-century modern style that is indeed my home. Five years ago I had a preschooler and a second grader. Babies really.

This summer my girls are little women and thriving in our small community with fine schools, good friends, and an amazing sports community.  Five years ago we moved into a neighborhood that welcomed us with gift baskets and cookies.  Today we are so thankful for our terrific neighbors who have helped with kid sitting, meals, loading/unloading large objects and just being amongst ‘our people.’ Five years ago I drove down the streets of Bainbridge and everything looked odd.  Those first months it felt and looked a lot like being on vacation where everything looks angular and unfamiliar. I was discussing this notion of vacation with a client and remember that the vaca feeling lasted until about October for me.  Then it hit me like a Mack truck that I was not going home to my cute cottage house in CA. That was a hurdle in the adjustment period, for sure. But today, driving by Rotary Park and the water view on Eagle Harbor all looks and feels like home.

Jen Pells | Realtor on Bainbridge Island

Jen Pells | Realtor on Bainbridge Island

Jen Pells | Realtor on Bainbridge Island

When Are You No Longer New?

In fact I think it took me a solid two years to really feel like I had moved. That I hadn’t just misplaced my return flight ticket.  I am sure the renovation of the house added to the unsettled feel. Very sure.  And we were contemplating moving to another house on the island for four of the five years we were here too.  And this five year mark is bittersweet for me in some ways.  I had always held it out there as the benchmark of within the first five years we could return to our old community and slip right back into place.  The kids could be friends with their old buddies, go back to the old hood. But after five years, I kind of figured too much time would have gone by, sort of a point of no return. But I don’t at all feel doom and gloom that we can’t do that.  At the same time I certainly still miss the community, family and friends I still have, but used to live amongst in CA.  As a couple we had 13 years with ‘our people’ down there and it was VERY hard to pull up those roots.  I savor those memories and the foundation it gave us.  I know it helped us get here.

Jen Pells | Realtor on Bainbridge Island

Hey, Are You New?

Five years ago I stood in the Blakely Elementary Auditorium on an Open House Night, alone and feeling very fish out of water.  A woman and her husband said “Hey, are you new? We’re new too. Come stand with the new people.”  Those very people became part of our new community.  Several of us moved her over the summer of 2007 and we remain friends today.

This is a summer of big changes and benchmarks.  I turn the big 4-0 next week. My older daughter starts junior high in August (and got her braces off).  My younger daughter will begin her last year of elementary school, having been fortunate enough to spend all her years there since Kindergarden (and got her braces on). Good stuff.

In another five years both of my girls will be in high school.  And five years after that both of my cuties will have graduated from high school and we will likely be empty nesters.  Hard to believe right now. These past five years flew by lightening fast and I hear they just get faster. But I do know there is nowhere we’d rather be than right here on Bainbridge for all the benchmarks, birthdays, games, dances and graduations in near our future. We’ll be sticking around. I think we’re very officially ‘not new’ anymore . . . and this is home.

On July 7, 2012, in Community, Moving, Personal, by

On Tuesday, my daughter’s classmate, Ian, had open heart surgery at Stanford Medical Center. Ian’s surgery was required to graft a new pulmonary artery and valve. Ian had the surgery at six weeks old to create the pulmonary artery he was missing at birth, but now at six years of age, he had outgrown the artery and valve he received as an infant and was in need of a new one. We knew that he might be getting this new, larger graft from a bovine, a pig, or, the best case, from a human donor.

Through the technology of CaringBridge.org, we have been keeping track of Ian’s hospital stay and surgery via his mom’s journal updates. He has been on our minds all week, especially the crucial day of his surgery. His surgery was scheduled for early on Tuesday morning, but it was delayed and delayed again. Late in the afternoon on Tuesday, starving, because he had not eaten since 8pm the night before, Ian went into surgery and again we waited for an update.
At about 7pm, we got word through his mom’s journal that the surgery went very well. His mom also added, gratefully, that his heart graft came from a human donor and asked for us all to give a word of thanks for that invaluable donation.
I could not hold back tears as I read the update and then shared the good news with my two girls. I have been an organ donor since I got my license, but only now as I have gotten older, and had children, do I fully realize how incredible the miracle of organ and tissue donation is. One single organ and tissue donor can save up to 100 lives.
We are all very happy that Ian, this little boy in our life, in our community came through – with flying colors, this monumental surgery . . . especially on the heels of Christmas. But, the success of this surgery was made possible, in part, because someone else chose to gift their organs, to gift life after an untimely death. That someone else, who donated part of their heart, had their own life, was another person’s child, was part of another community.
It is times like these that make me realize how closely connected we all really are. Working together, your community and my community make each other possible. With today’s unbelievable medical technology and human compassion . . . we are really, quite lucky.
Merry Christmas to you and yours.
On December 23, 2009, in Community, Personal, by

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