From the Publisher

From the moment the Covid-19 pandemic impacted our area-and I always mark that moment as the day last March that schools were closed-my family adopted the motto that saw us through the whole ordeal: "We're just gonna roll with it." Packet pickup and Zoom meetings for school? We're just gonna roll with it. Canceled spring musicals and class trips? We're just gonna roll with it. Distancing from grandparents? Virtual 4-H projects? Online school in the fall? Roll, roll and roll some more.

In some ways, we rolled very successfully. Having everyone at home was fun at first, and the holiday Zoom celebrations that required no travel in bad weather were a hit. Running, biking and skiing were welcome ways to get out of the house and mingle with friends, social-distance style.

In other ways, we did not roll so well. By June, the recycling bin was filled with stacks of unfinished worksheets. The virtual 4-H projects never materialized. Our home Wi-Fi could not handle five Zoom meetings at once, and someone was always getting frozen out of a math class or production meeting. Then, as if our motivation-and our spirits-weren't low enough, subzero temperatures in February rolled them right over the edge.

But just when we thought we couldn't take it anymore, spring came, vaccines came and the kids were able to return to school. The days when we can hug the grandparents are in sight. It seems we are finally being rewarded-just a little bit-for enduring everything we've been through. It hasn't been easy, this year of letting go of expectation and outcome, this pre-grieving that comes with knowing something you want very much may ultimately be taken away. But all in all, going with the flow-that rhythm of rolling with life's ups and downs-has paid off.

Just ask the women featured in this issue of Coulee Region Women, who demonstrate in their lives and careers how to "Go with the Flow." First up are our cover women, Catherine Tyink and Christine Kortbein, who have literally written the book on how to process that grief for lost opportunities, lost milestones and, of course, lost loved ones. Then there's the irrepressible Tammy Zee, who shares the flow of yoga with students across the region. You'll meet county health directors who have "rolled with it" like few others, and speaking of rolling, a Coulee Region man, Richard Chrz, demonstrates his mad adaptive cooking skills from his wheelchair. The Winona Outdoor Collaborative may beckon you out to a river adventure, and a riverside renovation of a storied Genoa lodge also inspires. The icing on the cake? Fun spring styles in Retail Therapy and travel plans on the horizon.

We hope this issue inspires you, too, to go with the flow-to embrace life as it comes to you, with all its joys, hardships, heartbreaks and hope. We hope "rolling with it" rolls you to a place of healing and (literal) hugs, a place of spring warmth and new opportunities. We hope we all can look back on this year and realize that, while life was not always pretty, we coped better than we thought possible, and we are stronger than we ever thought possible, too.

Betty Christiansen



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What is inside this month's issue:

Time to Heal
Christine Kortbein and Catherine Tyink offer strategies to find meaning in loss.

Fitness That Flows
Yoga enthusiast Tammy Zee strives to stay at the forefront of exercise culture.

From the Background to the Spotlight
Public health leaders balance change, communication and collaboration to address pandemic challenges.

"Flow" Throughout Our Lives
Essential information women should understand about their menstrual cycle.

Riverside Renovation
Nancy and Scott Swanson bring long-empty Genoa lodge back to life.

Rolling with the Changes
Cooking and meditation provide Richard Chrz with a path through chronic illness and life.

A Place to Belong
Winona Outdoor Collaborative makes outdoor activities inclusive for all.

Freshly Picked for Spring
Brighten your wardrobe with fantastic finds that are sure to erase those winter blues!

The Creative Flow
An author and an illustrator connect virtually to create a heartwarming children's book.

Itching to Travel?
Satisfy wanderlust while awaiting a safe return to the open road.


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