2007 Christmas Letter

Dear Friends,

The Zabels have the usual to report for 2007 – great trips, work, music, fitness, and church.

Our major trip this year was to New Zealand.  We went in May to the South Island, their autumn.  There was so much to see that we abandoned our usual practice of staying in one spot and traveled around, staying no more than 3 nights in any one location.  What gorgeous scenery – fall foliage, tropical looking vegetation next to sea level glaciers, fiords, spectacular lakes, wonderful hikes, and even penguins!  It was a truly marvelous trip.  And we still got to drive on the left!  You can see even more photos on our family web site (link above) and also photos from previous trips.

Other things in our life are the same.  Alan still works as a systems engineer at Northrop Grumman.  Cheryl is still actively involved in music.  And as a former AFS (American Field Service) exchange student for one high school year (she went to Germany), Cheryl is now an AFS volunteer, helping today’s AFS students visiting the U.S. and their host families.  And we both are active at Riviera United Methodist Church.  Cheryl is lay leader and a mainstay of the music program.  She did her sacred song recital at Riviera on October 7.  Alan is on the finance committee and will also serve on the staff-parish relations committee in 2008.  Cheryl leads a very successful women’s Bible study that meets Monday daytimes and Alan keeps the Sunday morning Bible study going.

Northrop Grumman now works a 9/80 schedule (9 hour days, but every other Friday off).  Alan likes that so much that he is starting to take a few other Fridays off as well.  And retirement is getting closer all the time.  Cheryl hopes for even more trips when that happens in a few years.

We, of course, have more trips planned for 2008.  We will visit Austria in May.  And then we will spend a week in the French Quarter of New Orleans in July (we were top bidders at the church auction for a 1 week stay there).

We are older and slower, but we are still out there.  Alan runs (more slowly and less far), Cheryl walks (less far), and we both continue to be regulars at the gym.  Life is good!

Merry Christmas and a Happy 2008!





Cheryl and Alan