By Bruce Carlson

Unpacking all our stuff was a challenge in itself. It took us 3 months to pack everything up to get ready for the move. Why would we expect it to take a shorter time to unpack? While we were opening boxes and putting things in rooms, we started to think about what else needed to be done. That thought created a long list of other things to do. This article will explore a few of those additional tasks to complete.

One of the things we did as part of the purchase of our new home was to get a home warranty policy. That covers all of the major appliances of the home. It also had a service to come out and change the locks within the home. You never know who else may have a key to the home. It also gave us just one key to open the locks in the home. I don’t need the hand full keys I used to have.

The next thing to change was our address. We had given the post office in North Aurora a change of address, so we are getting mail at our new home, but that’s a temporary fix. As our mail would come in we made a list of senders and reached out to them with the new address. Changing addresses with companies is relatively easy. In most cases, it was an online process. The change was immediate.

Then there is the government

Then there is the government. This has been the biggest challenge so far. The item to change was our driver’s license. Every place we changed our address online they processed it without question. The state wanted some kind of document that showed we were really at the new address. A utility bill, bank statement, credit card bill, etc. With today’s technology, anyone with a little skill can create any of these items.

On our first attempt, the driver’s license office wouldn’t accept the documents we had. Karen had a Real ID,s she needed two acceptable documents. We went home a little upset thinking, “Hi I’m here from the government and I’m here to help you.” So we went to the Belleville driver’s license office a few days later and brought the closing papers from our new home. We got our license, well temporary license. It was a couple of weeks later before the permanent license came in the mail.

What is interesting is, I play the lottery. Not a lot, but it is nice to buy tickets online. Especially when the jackpot is large. Yeah, the odds are higher than being hit by lightning, but if you don’t try you won’t win. Someone is going to win and they have the same basic odds I do.

Anyhow, I tried to play and I couldn’t buy tickets online. Well, our address was the old address and we had updated the address on the credit card. Apparently, the state checks the address on the card with the address on my account. Okay, I understand security and that’s not a bad thing. What I found out was, after talking to the lottery, we had to change the address on our driver’s license. It could be up to 6 weeks before the new address was available to the lottery. So much for real-time processing.

We got our license

It was almost two weeks after we got our license in the mail before the lottery could update our address information. Okay, this is a first-world problem, I know. The good news is the Powerball wasn’t hit so it has been growing. It’s now at 750 million. Boy, what I could do with that, was pay someone to make all my address changes.

Moving on to the next item. Cleaning the house. Karen has always done a great job keeping our homes clean. So before we could move out of our North Aurora home she cleaned everything. There was no need for the new homeowner to do anything. Our new home in New Athens was in pretty good shape also. As the home inspector said to us, “This is a house that has very little wear.” Everything was clean, but we took the opportunity to clean the rugs. No need to move furniture. After the rugs dried the home was ready to move into.

Our next big challenge was getting the Internet set up. In North Aurora, we had fiber which moved quite well. The company we were with was local to the area so we had to find one for New Athens. Now New Athens is out in what I’ll call farmland. The big company down here is Spectrum. So we gave them a call and said to hook us up. They checked our address and promptly said no. They weren’t anywhere in New Athens.

Okay, who’s next? We tried AT&T. They had service in our area, but it was on wire, not fiber. The cost was $55 a month. That was just the Internet, no other features. The trouble with wire is its slower upload and download speeds. For the two of us, it probably would be okay. If we both were online with video calls it could be a problem. So we looked for other services. Early on we received a card in the mail from Sparklight a competitor of Spectrum and AT&T.

Fiber Internet

Sparklight had a special for several months and they had fiber. They were higher, $70 per month, but it was fiber. We said hook us up. That was going to be a week. Okay, we’ll use our hotspot for the time being. When the guy came out to connect us he said the main cable was on the other side of the street. They would have to bore a cable under the street. Someone would call us and set up a time.

It never happened. We called three times to get the date and time. They must have been very busy. It was when the cable marking company came by to mark the utility lines in our front yard was the first time I was aware of them wanting to do something. We had gotten tired of waiting and went out to get a cellular solution. It was $50 per month and said they could handle the load.

So far the cellular solution is working okay. We had one night after a storm where it wasn’t working. I talked with the support staff and they reset something and things have worked since. I’ll stay with it until a hardwire connection becomes available.

We’re pretty much settled in and starting to reach out to the community. We ordered our first pizza for pickup last night. It was pretty good. We’ll be going back for more. We’ll be exploring more places and events in the near future so keep an eye on our blog for more stories and getting familiar with the Metro East area.

Thanks for reading

We hope you are enjoying these articles and are willing to continue to follow along as we move through the process of selling our house, buying a new house (to become our home), and the adventures of learning about life in southern Illinois, Bruce & Karen.