Thanks for the reply, folks.
Talked to our diesel doctor and he told me it's normal after it sits for along period.
This prompted me to feel secure enough to take it out for a spin and check the level again and it is reading hair below the low mark with the engine/tranny warmed up.
The tranny is shifting and operating fine, so that's a good sign.
So...the level is consistant with the amount of leak I am seeing under the car.
Dropping off the car at 1 pm to get it checked over.
I have my fingers crossed that it's the pan gasket....
Thanks again !!