Christmas 2002 Letter

Christmastime, 2002

from the Zaehring’s

Well, it’s that time of year when our natural inclination is to think about friends and family that have meant so much to us over the years.  Feeling guilty from the continual remarks about how “hokey” and impersonal annual Christmas letter “brag sheets” were, several years ago we finally determined that we would start connecting with people important to us on a one-on-one person basis.

I think that was four years ago or so. And now I know why there are annual Christmas letters. Because while the best of intentions resulted in a some personal connections, the truth is that our communication dropped dramatically with people who we really care about and want to keep in our lives. So with that mea culpa, we regress to do the best we can do– a Christmas letter which hopefully can find all of you.  This time around, in addition to the normal moves and relocations, at least in our area many streets and roads have been completely renumbered so that, while there will be no confusion for emergency workers finding a house, the post offices around here now have huge dead letter boxes.

Our nest is definitely smaller than before–although still with a guest room for those who can include an island stopover. Jamie (“James”, as he now is known in his world) moved to Cedar Rapids, Iowa a year and a half ago and has now set himself up in his own home while working as a Senior Systems Engineer with Rockwell Collins, in the arena of avionic electronics, acting as an excellent troubleshooter and hands-on team member. He is happily helping in the leadership of his church’s young adult group, many of whom we met while visiting him a couple of months ago. We were pleasantly surprised to see not just rolling hills and trees but true hills– the kind to go sledding down.  He is surrounded by very large oak trees up a street every bit as steep as ours.  So much for preconceived images of Iowa.  For those who would like to keep connected to him, his address is:

Jennifer is now a senior in the Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington, due to graduate this June. The challenge of academic studies in this area has excited her, even as she has continued her thoughts on where and how will she be called to serve. Two summers ago she taught English as a second language in Saint Petersburg, Russia.  This past summer she took a whirlwind road trip all over the country with her roommate-to-be as a brief interlude to earning money at the local laundry in her determined goal to provide for her own college education and graduate without debt. In this she has been at least as successful as in her classes. Much of her energy has been focused through her involvement with Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship. The future is still murky for her, but at this writing serving with Food for the Hungry is near the top of her list.  (Her email is

Andi and I get older at an ever increasing pace, even as our definition of “middle-age” keeps surging out in front of us.  We run a business together, Account/Ability Resources, Inc. which seeks to integrate the accounting and management needs of small businesses, mostly local. We recently moved to a new larger office where we have some room to grow.  The challenges facing families trying to make a decent living from a business enterprise continually face us and our clients as we grapple together with this everyday reality. Sometimes it sounds more like personal counseling than accounting, but the two get pretty intertwined in small business. And we enjoy it immensely.

We are both still very committed and involved at Friday Harbor Presbyterian Church, having felt called to leadership roles during times which weren’t always easy. Our faith and commitment grow both in adversity and in plenty. Bring on the plenty!

As we reflect at Christmastime on the central miracle of history,

    that God would become one of us so that He could lead us home,
    that He would confound the wise by doing so through a peasant girl in an obscure part of the world, without even a place to lay her head,
    so we put mangers in our clean, comfortable living rooms
    as our pastor often remarks, “Isn’t that a kick!”

We hope and pray that you and yours will have a blessed Christmas time and a happy New Year. May the Spirit of this season permeate through all the bustle and clutter of our modern lives and touch that quiet place within us where we meet God face to face. 

We would love to hear from you,

by mail:
Dan & Andi Zaehring
1008 Park Street
Friday Harbor, WA 98250

by phone:
by email:

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