During the pandemic, which I would like to think of in past tense although it is still going strong—our county has moved from yellow back into orange—Thursday became my favorite day of the week because it was marked by three treats that had become important to me. Three pandemic habits that helped get me through the days of semi-isolation gave me something to look forward to on Thursdays.

NYT crosswords. If you do the NYT crossword you know that they start to get more challenging toward the end of the week. Thursday is the first truly challenging day and it is often quirky, with answers going around corners or requiring rebuses—more than one letter in a square. Once you’ve figured out the trick theme it’s not too hard—the cluing on Friday and Saturday is usually more obscure—and it’s just plain fun. Well, I wouldn’t do crosswords if they weren’t all fun, but Thursdays are my favorite. By the way my current streak is 420: I have solved the NYT crossword 420 days in a row. It would be much longer if I hadn’t forgotten to do the puzzle one day last year.

Happy Color. This inane color-by-number app for your phone or tablet gives you every day a choice of a dozen or more new pictures to color by tapping on grayed-out spaces matched for each color lined up at the bottom—sometimes as many as 150 different colors per picture. I found this a soothing practice for my restless worry during the early days of the pandemic. I soon got bored with most of the pictures but noticed that every Thursday they offered a picture based on an actual work of art. It was often challenging to find all the grayed-out spaces for each color, because the pictures imitated the artist’s brushstrokes and color placement, but the end results were always satisfying. I now often do Happy Color as I semi-watch the evening news and I never miss a Thursday work of art. Below is a recent Happy Color based on a Gustave Courbet picture.

Beard and the Boss. During the pandemic a local couple with a catering business began offering a once-a-week meal delivery service. The menu was simple, one dish with a choice of protein and sides, and often represented different cuisines each week—Thai, Indian, Middle Eastern, etc. The meals came ready to heat, delivered to your front porch, contact-free, on Thursday afternoon. I began ordering these deliveries whenever the offering appealed to us and we have continued to support this local business in this way even though we are venturing out occasionally to restaurants.

Anyhow, today is Thursday, I haven’t done the crossword or Happy Color yet, and Beard and the Boss is delivering Vietnamese lemon grass noodle bowls for dinner. So much to look forward to. Happy Thursday!

What’s your favorite day of the week? What pandemic practices have sustained you?

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