Something good, linked via “and” with something else good, becomes twice as nice.
Love and marriage, bacon and eggs, buttons and bows, Mickey and Minnie.
A lot of my favorite things double their pleasantness when I join them.
I started a list of some favorite combos, old and new. (The new haven’t replaced the old. Just joined them to make an even more superior combo.)
Favorite Combos by the Prude
Quote and the reason
New: “I have made this letter longer than usual only because I have not had the time to make it shorter.” (Blaise Pascal)
And I am always in a frenzy of word-cutting to get my manuscripts pared down to the required length.
Old: “Be not the first by whom the new is tried nor the last by whom the old is laid aside” (My father quoting his father quoting someone else.)
And it kept me from being trendy, gave me a horror of group-think, and helped me fight an inborn tendency to stodginess.
Beverage and concurrent activity while imbibing
New: Bulletproof coffee and watching local news
Old (very old. 1970’s old) Diet Dr. Pepper and sunbathing
Author and character
New: Patricia Wentworth and Miss Maud Silver
Old: Josephine Tey and Inspector Grant
New: Sage and red
Old: Sunshine yellow and cobalt blue
Sacred song and place to sing it
New: “Merciful God”* and a worship service with my brothers and sisters
Old: “How Great Thou Art”** and a country road, walking, as a melancholy teen. Feeling all nature-y.
Word & its association
New: Hiraeth—A nameless longing and homesickness for a home you can’t return to, or that never was. And the longing for a Home that we’ve never seen.
Old: Serendipity—A happy accident. And my dad explaining the meaning.
Entertainment and simultaneous drudgery task
New: Old B&W Falcon or Charlie Chan detective movies and ironing.
Old: “A Christmas Carol” (1938 or 1951 versions) at midnight and wrapping Christmas gifts.
New: Any color and any other color as long as it results in a riot of color
Old: Wild chicory and Queen Anne’s Lace
New: Balsam and Cedar
Old: Pumpkin and Spice
New: Dark chocolate caramel and sea salt
Old: Clotted cream and jam
New: Naked cheese curds and ranch dip (Wisconsin is basically bathed in ranch dip)
Old: Chili and cold white milk
Poem and location to read/recite it
New: “Pied Beauty” by Gerard Manley Hopkins
and sitting on the patio just after sunset when it is still light enough to read. With feet propped up on the sandbox.
Glory be to God for dappled things –
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced – fold, fallow, and plough;
And áll trádes, their gear and tackle and trim.
All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:
Old: “Irish Peasant Song” by Louise Imogen Guiney and walking along country roads being melancholy. (no car as a teenager meant my pensive self was resigned to moody trudges along country roads.)
I try to knead and spin, but my life is low the while/ Oh, I long to be alone, and walk abroad a mile;/ Yet if I walk alone, and think of naught at all/ Why from me that’s young should the wild tears fall?
The shower-sodden earth, the earth-colored streams/ They breathe on me awake, and moan to me in dreams/ And yonder ivy fondling the broke castle-wall/ It pulls upon my heart till the wild tears fall.
The cabin-door looks down a furze-lighted hill/ And far as Leighlin Cross the fields are green and still/ But once I hear the blackbird in Leighlin hedges call/ The foolishness is on me, and the wild tears fall!
There you go. Some of my favorite combo plates. Got any others you can share?
*Keith Getty, Kristyn Getty, and Stuart Townend