Goodbye, God Bless

Santa Prisca Cathedral

Santa Prisca Cathedral – Bar Berta Not Far Away!

A loss of an important family member occurred this past week.  My Uncle Dick (Dick Techtmeyer) passed away.  Ask anyone who knew Dick about their impressions of  him, and you’ll hear comments like, “life of the party,” “happy go-lucky,” “loving,” “happy,” “a great guy and a wonderful friend.”  The list goes on…We lost a terrific man, friend, relative, acquaintance…Dick was a total blast and a half!

One of the most impressive adventures that I personally know about is the trip Dick made with his two sisters in 1988 to Mexico.  Richard and I planned our wedding for May in 1988 and sent out invitations to everyone we knew – not expecting anyone but perhaps the village drunk and some of the villagers from our little village of Hueymatla to attend.  

SURPRISE. Never one to miss an adventure or doing something different, Dick decided this was something that was worth attending. Dick, his two sisters Lois, and Norma all somehow hopped on a plane and managed to find their way down to Mexico City.  Dick rented a car (mind you…not speaking a word of Spanish), he piled his two sisters into the car, and he smoked that car out of the rental lot in search of Taxco, Guerrero. “Don’t you worry a bit,” he said . . . assuring his sisters that he knew exactly where he was and where he was going with that 6-pack of Coronas nestled next to him and the emergency brake… The sisters hung on for dear life while Dick drove like a crazy gringo up into the mountains from Mexico City to Taxco, Guerrero.  “Have no fear,” he hollered!

Taxco - The Nearest Town to our Village

Taxco – The Nearest Town to our Village of Hueymatla

Richard and I had the task to find Dick and his sisters once they arrived in Taxco, which was the nearest town to our village which was about 50 miles away…it wasn’t too difficult.  Within minutes we found him and his many new-found Mexican friends at Bar Berta which overlooked the zocolo.  Where there was laughter, Dick was not far away!  Bar Berta rocked that night! 

The day before our wedding, Dick, Lois and Norma followed us out to our humble little village via the “burro trail” of a road to spend some time with us in the “campo.”  I still wonder what he told the vehicle rental people in Mexico City when he returned the rental car at the conclusion of his adventure…

Once he arrived in our village of about 200 souls, it didn’t take Dick long before he hauled out his new video camera and was walking the village and taking in the sites and sounds of the real Mexico.  It also didn’t take much time for him to find the old wooden swinging bridge over the little river that led to an adjoining village of about 8 hearty souls.  Dick made immediate friends with everyone there and had everyone laughing so loud that we could hear the laughter pealing through the valley for miles.

Dick Techtmeyer was a one of a kind.  He was an adventurer.  He never met anyone who wasn’t his friend immediately.  And, he was the life of every party he attended (or danced on a table!).  We will always remember him and love him dearly.  Dick brought a sense of happiness to everyone and every event. 

The view from the veranda of our home in Hueymatla

The view from the veranda of our home in Hueymatla – where we were married May 8, 1988 with Uncle Dick in full Mexican regalia and grinning from ear to ear!

Today my beloved uncle is no longer with us here on earth.  But, God bless him . . . his happy spirit will always remain in our hearts and memories.  I feel honored to have had Dick as my uncle and my friend.  He was one of a kind.  Below is a picture of Dick’s daughter Pamela and me taken about 2 years ago.  Pam and I have a bond between us – – and you guessed it – – that bond is Dick Techtmeyer.  Pam had an extraordinary father, and yes, she knew it!

Pam and Patti - photo taken 2 years ago

Pam and Patti – Photo Taken Two Years Ago

– – Birth is Not The Beginning; Death is Not The End – –

We Love You, and Always Will.

If you have any pictures or stories to share about Dick to add to this blog, please send them to me, and I’ll post them for our family and friends to enjoy.  Send to richardandpattiredd at gmail dot com (written this way, eliminates the spammers but you get the gist!)

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Off the Grid

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Over the past several years I’ve observed this saying “going off the grid” appearing a lot in blogs, as subject matter in articles about how to live without reliance on major and usual society requirements, etc. 

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Richard and I have spent much of our lives “off the grid,” but never thought much of it.  We’re like a lot of folks in their 50s and some in their 60s who began to live a little differently than the main-stream people back in the 1970s. If the majority turned right, we were the ones turning left.  If we were told “you MUST do such and such,” you could be quite certain that we wouldn’t. . .in fact, we would do just the opposite.  Actually, now that I think about it a little, perhaps a few of us were “acting out” as the Dr. Phil’s of the media would say.  My response; “and so?”

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,,,,today in 2012, many of us are still living that same style of being off the grid in one form or another. We rebel and fight against normal, usual, rules, and all that jazz.  We don’t want to be categorized and we enjoy challenging experiences in life.  And now I have also found that same feeling goes for challenging this thing we call “death.” 

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I am grateful beyond words to live in a country that allows us the freedom of speech, and the ability to be “Off The Grid.”  But, I’m a bit worried these days that our country has leaned more and more against that uniqueness of democracy that I have valued so much. I see so many Americans moving along with the pack of rule makers, greed, consumerism just for the sake of consuming, and playing ball with the “cronies.”  Some of the behavior that we see and do not like is stomping on our rights to be unique and different.

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Several times I have found myself joining that crowd, and then suddenly waking up to falling away from my core beliefs.  I hope I will have the courage and attention span to keep myself “off the grid.”  It was good for me then, and it’s good for me now.  Especially now.  We’re in the middle of an extraordinary time in history – I need to stay awake and take note!

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Today we are dying from heavy metal poisoning.  That, in itself, is a personal extraordinary event; not one that we are appreciating in any way either.  Lately I’ve wondered about the peculiarities of our condition . . . even our death is “off the grid.”  Figures it would happen to us, of all people.  I know, I know…there are probably a few people nodding, and thinking to themselves, “yeah, those two were always weird – it’s deserved.”  Well, if you are one of them, my middle finger is giving you a nod.

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Back to the subject of off the grid…have we forgotten that life and death should be filled with choices?!  Several times when speaking  to a mainstream medical professional, and I’ve said, “I refuse to die in a  hospital – I  will not be subjected to the warehousing of elderly or ill people,” the response has often been a horrified look.  And, sometimes a bit of an arguement may ensue with words like irresponsibility thrown in it!  Good grief; get a grip. 

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Off the Grid.  I believe in a few important values, and it includes “being true to myself in all thoughts and behavior.”  If being “Off the Grid” moves me towards achieving my goals, then that’s fine with me.

I love the desert for the uniqueness of its craggy beauty!

I love the desert for the uniqueness of its craggy beauty! The desert is also a little bit "Off the Grid!"