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If we were meeting for coffee, I’d bring some gingerbread cookies. I think they’re best in the cold of winter. They lift my mood on these gloomy days we’ve had. The magic of hygge.

I’d tell you that I had lunch with my aunt on MLK Day. We talked and talked and I was surprised that it was already 3pm when we finished. My uncle died in December so I want to see my aunt whenever I can.

I taught three days this week. Two were delightful. One was in a first grade and the other in fourth. Both times I substituting for aides who were there for individual students, though I helped out in general so that “my” student didn’t feel hovered over. The teachers in these classes were wonderful. Today I replaced an 8th grade teacher, which was less satisfying. The junior high is huge and half the students don’t want to learn. I don’t plan on taking another junior high assignment. Even when the teacher makes it “easy,” enough students are mouthy and troublesome to make the day sour.

On Wednesday I visited Special Gifts Theater’s rehearsal. I’m on my township’s Human Services Commission and have four agencies to visit to determine if we should give them grant money. Special Gifts Theater is an afternoon program for teens and adults with special needs. It’s a theater program that puts on musicals starring people with special needs. This year the adults will do Fiddler on the Roof and the younger performers will perform Seussical. It was wonderful to see the players and peer-mentors collaborate.

I finished reading Underground Railroad for my book club. I didn’t need to rush. I hate when I’m running late for our meeting. I’m disappointed that we’re doing it via Zoom instead of in person, but c’est la vie. I’m also reading a Nancy Drew book for old time’s sake.

I also finished The Red and the Black. The end of the book moves a lot faster than the first part and answered my question “Why did Stendhal include both the affairs with Madame de Rênal and Matilde, by the end I saw the necessity.

I’m continuing to love the BBC show Upstart Crow, a sitcom about William Shakespeare. A hero sure isn’t adored at home. The running theme is how his parents, wife, daughter and servants don’t think Will’s a big deal as a writer.

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