Midi Me

Introducing Midi Me

October 15, 2018 • By

An interview with the author of Midi Me, a blog about midimalism.

Who are you? My name is Patty, that’s with a ‘y’.

How old are you? I am just over five feet tall, thanks so much for asking.

Where do you live? I have lived near Gettysburg Pennsylvania for 24 years. Before that I lived in New York, New Hampshire, and Illinois. I was born and raised in Boulder, Colorado.

Can you share a little about your family? I have been married to the same man for 38 years. We have two amazingly awesome children who live at opposite ends of the country. Happily, my world revolves around Dad. He is 95. I’m the luckiest daughter alive.

What is the meaning behind the title of your blog, Midi Me? I tend to think in extremes, but I don’t live there. Finding happiness some place in the middle is my goal.

What will you write about on this blog? Anything I find interesting, sad, funny, or perplexing. I write a lot. I am using this blog to free up some space in the file cabinet.

Have you published any of your work? Yes, two books. The first is a memoir, Grace on the Ledge, the second is a children’s book, Grammy’s Eyes.

Have you been a writer your whole life? No,  I began writing chapter books when I was eight. The Girl Who Loved Adventures was the series title. I still have one, complete with illustrations. I took 50 years off to grow up, go to school and teach sociology courses to undergrads.

Do you have any other interests? Should I list them in alphabetical order or by major heading?

How do you spend time when you are not writing? Lately I plan yoga classes I teach, practice yoga, ride my bike to and from yoga. Oh, and I read, a lot. I may have an attachment issue there, so I am trying to cut back.

Have any pets? The cat population is steady at two. Bear, retrieved from a farmer’s woodpile, all black. Cricket, abandoned by her mother at the age of four days, all fluff. I miss our dog Wilson who passed away in 2015. He was my best friend.

Favorite food? Lately I love anything green and garlic humus. I don’t eat meat, probably a yoga thing. 

Do you have any goals? Do you want me to start with those I have for the next five minutes, for this week, this month, or the next ten years?

Do you have any fears? Running over a slow moving mean black snake on a bike trail. Typing this pretend conversation causes me some concern. Sharing my writing on this blog would be first on that list.

Thanks for your time. We look forward to reading more on this re-titled blog of yours called Midi Me.

So do I!


Another Good Day

March 29, 2018 • By

For nearly eight years after my mother’s stroke I lived to help my father make her life the very best it could be.  Few coworkers during those years knew of my life outside the walls of academia. Only a handful of close friends recognized the paralyzing stress that lodged in my jaw.

Now the days I am not teaching are reserved for appointments and errands with Dad. He is 95 and trust me, totally in charge of life. On the schedule this morning: routine blood work for his checkup next week, the barber for his signature buzz cut, and an inaugural trip to the new Dunkin Donuts on the south side of town.  Eating a single treat after monitoring his sugar intake a month before lab results has become tradition. Until today, I would pop in, stock up on a half dozen frosted yummies and deliver them to Dad’s apartment. The new shop has a wide entrance, more seats, and larger windows. Dad wants to check it out.

Only two cars in the lot, I unfold his cadet blue rollator and we wind our way down the ramp and inside. The menu on the wall includes active video panels in between the list of coffee varieties and breakfast fare.

“Do they have anything like regular coffee?” Dad leans over to ask.

“Yes, way at the top, roasted coffee.”

“Boy, you need binoculars to read that far.”

Straining my eyes behind trifocals I know he is right, as always.

I wait for the coffees. Dad rolls his way toward the far window and sinks onto a comfortable seat at a low table.  I set down the coffees and he chomps into a sweet frosted break from the overnight fast.

“All we need is Mom and the paper.”

A reflexive smile curves onto my face, then freezes. The coffee, the chocolate morning treat, and Dunkin Donuts.


Balance in a Roll

September 7, 2017 • By

I do yoga. Don’t laugh. At a studio with the word ‘balance’ on its banner. Stop laughing.  My yogic beginnings are humble and certainly predestined, by Life.

I drove past a weather-beaten sandwich sign five or six times a week for over a year.  It looked lonely but stable; perched on the sidewalk in front of a stately old house divided into apartment units.  Plastic letters spelled out Yoga Classes.

Spring 2010 had landed me in weeks of physical therapy for what started as a shoulder issue. But as the song goes, ‘the shoulder is connected to the neck bones’, and that’s where the whole problem was. One month of biweekly appointments nestled in a computerized traction system and I could turn a doorknob and sometimes the ignition key without a wince.  The prospect of lifting that arm over my head any time soon was idealistic. I was on the lookout for an apparatus and pharmaceutical-free cure.

Slow traffic one morning behind the convoy of logging trucks heading east to a paper mill required me to stop directly in front of that sign. I chuckled reading the oxymoron. A life in balance was everything mine wasn’t. But as idling seconds ticked away, humorous skepticism pushed to one side of my thoughts leaving space to consider the potential. Traffic moved and a decision was made. I would try this yoga thing out.

Late evening, I Googled the name of the studio. The home page listed six classes through the week. My schedule allowed one option, Friday morning at 8:30. I penciled ‘yoga’ on the kitchen calendar.

Friday’s sunshine and green tea chased with half a pot of java produced motivation to arrive early. I peeled running crops from the corner of a drawer and grabbed an identity free t-shirt. I wanted to avoid any symbols suggesting I had a personality. One glance at the mirror confirmed it: I had no aspiration to bend into a pretzel shape that or any day.

What am I thinking?

I backed out the driveway waiting for my hyperactive gut to dump into my bladder and compel me to pull forward. Thoughts thumped at both temples.

Do they have yoga mats? Should I mention my arthritic neck, my grating knees, my locking jaw? Will the teacher notice I can’t lift my right arm? Can you do yoga with glasses?