From the Editor

When we sat down to plan our "Ages & Stages" issue of Coulee Region Women, we opened our meeting with one question to spur inspiration: What was a great age in your life? Not surprisingly, the numbers ranged. For many, it was their 20s, when a long chain of "firsts"-first apartment, first job, first taste of self-sufficiency-showed them they could believe in themselves. For others, the great age came later-with confidence in a career, with marriage, with a house-and with it, a feeling of strength and order, a sense that "I've got this." Some enjoyed being empty nesters and the freedom that comes with that stage. We all had an age or stage of life we looked back on fondly, and yet we realized that, no matter where we were, there was more to look forward to.

That's certainly the idea we hope to convey with this issue, and we've sought to do that by collecting the stories of women in a variety of ages and stages, with diverse passions and perspectives, to give you a snapshot of the vast array of women in the Coulee Region. Judging from this collection of women-displayed proudly on our cover-we are creative and compassionate; we want to make a difference, and we do; we are mothers, daughters, grandmothers and aunts; and we have experienced much in our time here on Earth. We are artists and immigrants, scientists and musicians, and above all, women who care very much about our community. We recognize that we can learn from each other, regardless of age and experience. And for all the stages we've moved through, we know there is more to look forward to. We know because we can look to the women around us-their challenges and triumphs, their joys and sorrows-and see the evidence in their lives.

In this issue, for example, we learn from women like Roz Schnick and Christy Wopat that grief can not only be endured, but transformed into compassion that changes lives. We learn from Mao Kong that challenges lead to opportunities, especially when combined with determination. We see artists whose careers have been inspired by their life stages, and we see generations of women celebrated in families, family businesses and service to others. All of them illustrate how women of any age, and in any stage of life, are assets to families, to communities and, importantly, to each other.

As we put together each issue of this magazine, we at Coulee Region Women, witness firsthand just how reliant we women are on each other-for insight, for inspiration and for expertise. We are honored by the willingness of women to tell us their stories and share their experiences, often in the hope of inspiring or educating others. We are indebted to our advertisers, who believe so much in the importance of telling those stories that they support us in sharing them. And we rely on our readers-women of every age and stage-who are the fabric of this community we live in.

There is no match for the wisdom of those who have been through the ages and stages we are now entering. And when you look at the women you encounter each day with that perspective, the world-our workplaces, our families, our community-becomes a very exciting place.

We hope this issue inspires that excitement as well as gratitude-for where we are, where we have been and what we can be.

Betty Christiansen



Download past issues here …

What is inside this month's issue:

We've run the numbers on the women of the Coulee Region for a snapshot of who we are.

The women of a close-knit multigenerational family have learned much from each other.

Music for the Generations
Abbie Leithold-Gerzema continues a long family tradition of advocating music-making.

Personal & Professional
Inspired by her own life journey, Mao Kong helps others on theirs.

A Journey of Loss and Love
Author Christy Wopat helps mothers navigate the stages of grief.

A Local Landmark
History, modernity and downtown convenience make Landmark on the Rivers a great place to live.

Women in the Region
A Life Dedicated
Roz Schnick creates a legacy of love that spans a lifetime.

Healthy Living
Active at All Ages
No matter your age, physical fitness offers empowerment.

Feeding the Female Body
Women's nutritional needs change throughout life.

Designing Women
More Than Meets the Eye
Passion and story fuel the art of jewelry makers in different stages of life and career.

Still More to Give
Cindi Kyte nurtures community youth of all ages.

The La Crosse County Association of HCE isn't just for homemakers.

Retail Therapy
Just down the street, local boutiques offer unique style and so much more.

Most Jura-chic Couple
Two dino fans take a road trip to the Jurassic Age.


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