Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Home Sweet Hudson!

For those of you who have been wondering, Ann and I moved into our new home last weekend. I wasn't sure how or if I would ever write a blog about this experience since it doesn't really have much to do with school, but since there seems to be some public interest I thought, what the heck! And upon reflection, it has much more to do with school than you might imagine. But please bear with me a few minutes until I get there!

Our journey to build a home began on April 18th with the purchase of a lot. Many people have told me the fact we are already in our house after only starting in April is pretty amazing. To us it sure seemed like a long time! We relied on a lot of friends here in town who have built before to help give advice and offer reassurance. One thing that we heard often is that there are a lot of decisions to make, and boy were they right! Down to deciding what the door plates for the door handles were going to look like, we had to make a decision on everything. Certainly at times it seemed overwhelming, but it was important to our builder that we had the home that we wanted at the end of the project. 

One of the early decisions we made was to do as much business as possible right here in Hudson. This is something that I have preached for years and will continue to emphasize: support local businesses by buying and shopping locally! While it would have been impossible to do everything right here in town, we made a conscious effort to do so as much as we could. And we were happy that we did. Probably the first and most important decision we had to make was to choose a builder, and for that we chose Klunder Homes. This turned out to be a great decision because Brook did an awesome job for us. He was patient, helpful, kind, extremely knowledgeable; and his crew was absolutely amazing! His attention to detail was second to none, and he came in under budget!

All of the plumbing and HVAC work was done by Hudson Hardware Plumbing and Heating. Not only that, but the construction arm of the company took care of all the excavating and dug the hole for our basement. HHPH did outstanding work for us and we couldn't have asked for better service. Anytime I had a question, all I had to do was pick up the phone. They made everything so easy, gave great advice on equipment, and explained how best to make our home comfortable and energy efficient. When it came to floor covering, we had to look no further that D & W Flooring Covering just down the road from my office. Our hardwood floor turned out beautiful and the carpet selection was fantastic. Our contractor and subcontractor were so patient with us as we made all these decisions, we couldn't be more grateful for everyones work on our behalf.

However, one of the most enjoyable components of building this home was seeing Hudson alumni working on the project. Young people who, just a few short years ago were roaming the halls of Hudson High School. It was great to see how they had learned a trade and were applying what they learned to such a complex undertaking. One afternoon I tried my hand at the excavator and believe me, it is not as easy as you might think! The skill and finesse it takes to operate this heavy machinery takes some seriously fine tuned motor skills! Seeing these young alumni work on the house; the plumbers, electricians, carpenters, and other craftsmen reminded me once again how important it is for schools to be sure that we prepare our graduates for a variety of career opportunities. I'll continue to emphasize that a four year college or university is not necessary for everyone, and there are a lot of good paying jobs that require a very high level of skill where you don't need to attend a university to learn these skills or find success. The craftsmanship and attention to detail that goes into home building is very impressive. I might remind you to please read my October 28, 2015 article "What Does Your Future Look Like?"

I may have mentioned this before, but both Ann and I grew up in small town Iowa, towns a lot like Hudson, and that tranquility has been missing from where we lived before. There is something so nice and peaceful about small town living. Everyone has been so gracious and kind to use during our transition and for that we are extremely grateful. Hudson is indeed a great community and a wonderful place to work, live, and raise a family. Its great to be home!


  1. Welcome Home!
    You and Ann were a joy to work with. The choices you made for your new home were superb. In getting to know you I was able to see how dedicated you are to your work and your community. Being a father to kids that go to Hudson School I was able to appreciate what you do even more. The time you invest in these kids and our future did not go unnoticed. Thank you for making a difference in our kids lives.
    It was a great pleasure working with you and Ann.
    Glad to have you in Hudson.
    Brook Klunder, Klunder Homes Inc.

  2. "It doesn't really have much to do with school." Oh, but it has everything to do with school! It means a lot to the community that you chose to make Hudson your home. I love living in the community where I teach and know you will share my sentiments. Welcome to Hudson!