2004 Christmas Letter

Dear Friends,

2004 has not had any big news or events.  Aren’t you glad?  You’re may be thinking, “Then, shut up.”  If that’s what your thoughts were, then read no further.  If you thought, “Oh, I’m so disappointed; I just love Alan and Cheryl’s letters,” then read on. Cheryl is mostly writing this year’s letter (green) instead of Alan (red).  You may get a different slant (that is, if you’re still reading). 

On the professional front, Alan is still working at Northrop Grumman (software architect) doing something very important for our country’s security.  Cheryl tries to ferret out information, but Alan is a professional secret keeper. Cheryl sings a lot, plays the piano a lot, teaches a little, and knits (not professionally—but make her an offer). She is excited about a solo show she is doing next May 6 singing songs from the Great American Songbook.  To find out more about her and her gigs, you can always check her website. To find out more about Alan, well, good luck.

We both are still hanging in there with daily exercising.  Alan runs most days, and Cheryl has given that up for walking, which she always liked better, anyway.  It’s a good thing we got the marathon in when we did in 2001.  (You probably have saved all of our Christmas letters, so you already knew that.)  Other days we go to our gym and work out.  We are doing everything we can, short of drastically reducing calories, to head off being statistics in the national obesity crisis. Okay, that’s the humdrum.  I knew if I didn’t put that information in, Alan would add it.  Yes, I would!  A new wrinkle is that Alan has added regular stretching, balance, and flexibility exercises to his routine.  It’s not like being in one’s twenties again, but it does help a lot.  

As always, our vacation was our big news this year.  Cheryl asks Alan almost on a daily basis when he is going to retire.  But he knows that as soon as he does retire, she will accelerate their travel plans.  (At least 5 or 6 more years of working, but in the meantime, we still manage good trips every year.)  This year (2004, April) we returned to Ireland.  We loved it so much in 2002 that we went back.  This time we rented a cottage in County Wicklow for two weeks.  We had a mountain view from both the living room and the bedroom.  It was so peaceful--lots of walks and looking at sheep, specifically “leaping lambies.” See pictures at the  top of this letter (and from our website).  

In 2005 we are going to Wales, to the village of Beddgelert, in the heart of Snowdonia. 

Our church, Riviera United Methodist in Redondo Beach is, and will probably always be, until we move to the nursing home, a very important part of who we are.  We love it and the people there and are very involved in lots of activities.  In fact, the friends we have made there feel like our family.

We love each and every one of you, too, and wish you a happy and healthy year.  We know we are blessed in so many ways, most especially in the wonderful people who are a part of the fabric of our lives.

Merry Christmas and God bless you!



Cheryl and Alan