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I’m facing the possibility of going two days without the Internet, or maybe just a day and a half if I’m lucky.

Either way, it is going to be harder to endure than I would like to admit.

I count on the Internet to connect with friends, keep up with celebrity gossip and get books delivered right to my door.

I have even begun to experiment with ordering furniture online, which is how we ended up with a family-sized beanbag in our living room. Once the boys had it out of the box and fluffed up to its full potential, how could I even think of sending it back?

Thanks to the Internet, I know all the latest news plus all sorts of interesting tidbits provided by Yahoo!

To make sure Ron doesn’t think I sit around all day eating bonbons, I share my newly acquired information with him. For example, he did not know that a Betsy Ross impersonator was engaged to a Benjamin Franklin impersonator until I informed him over dinner last week.

Simply put, the Internet provides a link to the outside world that keeps me from going absolutely nuts when faced with hour after hour of doing stay-at-home mom things such as laundry, laundry and more laundry.

It also makes it possible for this column to be published weekly in Stars and Stripes and allows me to maintain a Web site, where I can show off pictures of my friends’ new babies.

Making that first connection after moving day isn’t as easy as it sounds, especially when your cable/Internet service provider slips away before you get online.

Luckily, when we first moved here, I happened to find "Skip," a computer repairman who agreed to actually come to our home for a reasonable price. Despite being surrounded by all three boys and Glory, he managed to get both computers going and escape without injury in less than an hour.

Skip worked even faster the second time I called for service. The boys were in school and he initially thought he had the wrong house because it was so quiet.

Our computers ran smoothly for a long time after that second call, but yesterday, I finally had to dial Skip’s number once again. As he said hello, Ronnie began to yell something to me about "mean old Tommy."

"I’m trying to talk to the computer man on the phone," I yelled back. Then, I stepped out on the front porch.

"Hey, I was wondering if you still service computers?" I began. "I’m the woman who…"

"Has the seven boys?" he finished, laughing.

"Well, yes, it does seem that way," I agreed. I managed to tell him what was wrong with our computers before the boys and their noise found me.

"Could you hang on a second while I go to a quieter place?" I asked, ducking into the garage.

Skip waited patiently, but wasn’t eager to hang out in Zichville again. We agreed upon a time when he could pick up the computers and service them at his shop. "It’s a lot cheaper than having me fix them in your home," he offered.

Was it the heat of the garage, or the thought of searching for another computer repairman, that prompted me to face the challenge of Internetless days?

Something tells me we scared Skip away from ever making a real house call again and should be happy he’s willing to brave our door at all. Most repairmen hear the yelling, see the dog and run.

Pam Zich has moved eight times in 17 years of marriage to her Marine Corps husband. E-mail her at homefront@stripes.osd.mil or find the Zichs online atwww.lifeonthehomefront.com.


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