For those of you who missed last week’s edition of Life on the Home Front, here’s a quick update: Instead of my annual summer movie madness column, I decided to chronicle the lives of Ron, myself and Arnold Schwarzenegger from the release of the original "Terminator" movie in 1984 to the present day.

My inspiration came from having seen the most recent installation in the action movie franchise with Jimmy, Tommy and Ronnie.

Being the mother of three boys has transformed me from someone with little to no interest in action flicks to one of those people who knows months in advance when a movie is being released.

I left off last week midway through 2004. "Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines" had been released the previous summer, and the big guy was elected governor of California a couple of months later.

This affected my family because we were living in San Diego at the time. Californians held a special election to terminate their current governor’s time in office and replace him with Arnold.

Around the same time this was going on, there was a huge wildfire and the sky turned a weird green color for a couple of days. I remember sitting out on the sidewalk in front of our house, pondering the situation.

When my neighbor came outside, I told her, "Yes, I’m just trying to get used to the green sky overhead and grasp the idea of having the Terminator as governor."

As I mentioned last week, I unwisely allowed Jimmy to watch that third "Terminator" movie when it came out on video. Although he promised not to repeat any of the bad words from the movie, he couldn’t wait to show off his newest cursing skills when we arrived in North Carolina that summer to visit my parents.

We then moved to Carlisle, Pa., where Ron claimed to attend school at the Army War College. To me, it seemed like he just hung around the house a lot more and suddenly had time to go fishing during the week.

I lost track of what was going on with the political scene in California after we relocated. Arnold must have been doing a pretty good job in his new role as "Govinator," because he was reelected in 2006.

By that time, the Zich family had moved again, this time to our present location of Springfield, Va. Ron went back to working long hours and only fishing on weekends.

Last summer, as the boys and I waited for yet another action flick to begin, we caught a preview of the fourth installation of the "Terminator" movies. I was more eager than they were to make my way to a theater last month for its release.

We knew there would be no "real" appearance by Arnold in this one, however, as early reviews hinted that something digitally created would have to suffice. The real thing was too busy trying to solve California’s budget woes to step into his old shoes again.

I can only guess where Uncle Sam will lead us by the time "Terminator 5" is released, and there is no telling where the Govinator will be by then.

Maybe we will still be in Springfield, and he will be in Washington by that time. Then, we could all catch the movie together … on the front row, of course.

A mother of three boys, Pam Zich has been married to a Marine for 18 years and currently lives in Springfield, Va. You may e-mail her at or visit her Web site at

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