Snyder Family - Christmas 2008

This year was filled with good health, happiness, and a few
adventures. We both still keep busy with volunteer jobs.
Liska is a Court-Appointed Special Advocate for some kids
who are in state custody. Dick sometimes volunteers on field
trips with his old buddies from the U.S. Geological Survey.
But the real highlight of our lives is spending time with our
three granddaughters.

Tazlina, 6, is in first grade and is a creative, imaginative kid.
Marley, 3½, is always cheerful and loves preschool. Iona is
1½ and has lots of fun playing with her two big cousins.
David is a computer programmer for Geographic Information
Systems. Patty was promoted to the chief of the Alaska
Social Security Disability agency. Gary is an enthusiastic
high school biology teacher. Heather works part time for one
of the Anchorage Assembly (city council) members. They all
enjoy playing with their lively daughters.

On New Year’s Day Liska flew home from Israel. She had
spent a whirlwind week at her niece Rachel’s joyous
wedding in Jerusalem and spent a remarkable day in
Ramallah on the West Bank with a friend who is married to a
Palestinian. The whole week was filled with deep emotions.
In the spring, we once again went on our annual canyon/desert trip. This time our whole group of 20 people had the unbelievable good fortune of
all winning permits (via a complicated lottery) to hike into “The Wave” on the Utah/Arizona border. Only 20 people a day are allowed to hike the 3
miles into this magical place described as “gnarled, polished, and twisted rock.”  We spent several hours wandering around these convoluted and
weirdly shaped rocks, full of awe.

In August Liska’s family had their "once-every-4-years" reunion. Forty-one of us, ranging in age from 1 to 69, met at a resort on a lake north of
Vancouver, British Columbia. We went swimming, canoeing, and hiking, ate lots of food, played games, did lots of talking. Oh, it was so much fun!

In early September Liska went to Braunschweig, Germany, the city where her mother, Nellie, grew up. The city reveres Nellie because as a Jewish
woman who left Germany before World War II, she returned often and talked to the residents about her life.  Nellie became a symbol of all the Jews
who were persecuted by the Nazis. September 3rd would have been her 100th birthday, and the city honored her by having an all-day seminar
devoted to teachers, students (including Nellie) and scientists (including Liska's father) who had to leave Germany because of Hitler.  Liska's
brother Christopher gave the opening lecture.  David, Patty, and Iona were also attended this very special event.

In November, we picked up our “camping car” and traveled around New Mexico and Arizona. The highlight of this trip was a visit to a wildlife refuge.
We got up at 5:30 one morning and in the darkness waited for sunrise next to a marsh. Along with the sun came thousands and thousands of snow
geese landing in the water right in front of us. It was an unforgettable sight.

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