My husband has put in two years at the shop, becoming skilled at auto repair, bad puns, and Mexican Spanish. Sometimes he does all three at once. My boy likes to pretend he's a mechanic too: Come to my shop and I'll fix your car! he says. I need to find my other wrench. Oh, now I'm done! That'll be six hundred dollars! I'm glad he's so taken with it; someday we'll sit at the kitchen table and make little machines that meow or zap or spin like I did when I was little. I remember the first Rube Goldberg device I ever saw - an illustration on the back of a cover of Newsweek. I think it was an ad for Bacardi - this long crazy machine that ended with a gloved hand pouring the bottle. (I think, did I say? Of course it was Bacardi. Maybe that's half the reason I love rum cake so much, come to think of it.) I spent hours and hours year after year drawing increasingly complicated gadgets to perform the most mundane of tasks. Cars were an absolute wonder to me. To look under the hood and try to follow the transfers of energy, -I remember the day I understood the combustion engine like it was yesterday!- to try to understand how so many functions occurred simultaneously, perfectly, each mechanism purring, turning, firing, injecting...I felt like Charlie getting to see inside the factory. And my husband, he got to work next to Wonka himself in the hands-down-best shop in the world. And he knew I thought it was awesome; he would come home at night with his stained hands and casually mention calipers and pistons and trannies, a smug little half-smile on his lips, looking at me out of the corner of his eye. Now he's off to become a teacher-man. He'll come home and regale me with stories like McCourt's, and we'll sit at night scheming what to do about those punk kids, and he'll wear a skinny black neck tie and carry himself with swagger. It's time, I suppose. It's definitely time. But thank you don Omar, for these heckuvagreat couple of years.