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Read Inspire(d) Winter 2018-19 Online!

Inspire(d) Winter 2018-19

The Winter 2018-19 Inspire(d) is all about walking your talk! Here’s what you’ll find:

Female Mayors in the Driftless Region • Mentoring in Northeast Iowa, Burning Bright • Getting in the Spirit – RockFilter Distillery, La Crosse Distilling Co., Harmony Spirits • Sum of Your Biz: David Wadsworth • Snowbird on the Cheap • & More!

A note from Aryn:

Those feet on the cover? They’re mine and Roxie’s, and looking at that picture gives me a sense of pride, excitement, and – I’m finding as I get older – a sense of urgency. I know, I know: I’m only 37! But time keeps on ticking away, and I want to be sure we’ve a.) lived this life well and b.) taken care of this world so our daughter can live her life well, too.

I think about it every day – are we doing enough? What will things be like for Roxie in 10, 20, 30 years? The urgency of it all starts to seep in. But I take a deep breath, and do what I can do. I try to walk our talk within our community by emulating the ideas we write about in this magazine.

Others walk their talks in their own, awesome ways, like Driftless women who have recently pulled a seat up to the political table as mayors. Maggie Sonnek interviewed four such women – some are the first female mayors in the history of their towns. This comes as we celebrate a record number of women elected to congress in November 2018. It’s (beyond) time, and it’s exciting. I applaud and support these women, and I’m happy they’re providing these great examples of female leaders for Roxie.

In a different  – but equally important – role, there are mentors in Northeast Iowa who are directly supporting young people through Helping Services Youth Mentoring. 2018 marked the program’s 20-year anniversary of fostering positive friendships and experiences in the area, and January is National Mentoring Month. I interviewed Mentoring Coordinator Kathy Schwartzhoff, as well as local mentor Paul Bauhs and his mentee, Jake, about the ripple of good impacts that has come from the program (and how you can join in too).

Decorah’s popular winter solstice concert, Burning Bright, has been bringing light in the darkness and giving back to the community… also for two decades! Choir member Kristine Jepsen chats with founding members and directors as they reflect on years past and prepare for this season’s performance.

Along with the work (and joy) of walking our talk, there also has to be time for fun. This day – and every day – is one to be lived well. Winter can be a tough time for remembering that, so we put together some ideas to help you get out – of the doldrums, and out the door, too. Winter challenges, ideas for “Snowbirding on the Cheap,” and more. Plus, don’t miss Sara Walter’s feature on the rise in craft distilling in the Driftless – read about RockFilter Distillery, La Crosse Distilling Co., and Harmony Spirits, then grab your designated driver and head out to explore this new and rising industry in our region. Special shout-out to my good friend and photographer, Jen Opheim, for road tripping with me to Spring Grove – see her beautiful photographs of RockFilter starting on page 44.

Other days, you might want to stay in. We’ve got you covered! Maybe as you make your house extra koselig (remember? If you don’t, check page 32) you can read about David Wadsworth and Wadsworth Construction in this issue’s Sum of Your Business. Making houses cozy and well put together is what he’s all about.

All of us here at Inspire(d) hope you have a great end of 2018, and that you look to 2019 as a year filled with possibilities. You can do anything! Let’s do this!

Happy New Year! Thank you for reading – and being – Inspire(d)!

Looking forward,

Aryn Henning Nichols

Read the Winter 2018-19 Inspire(d) online here!

Read the Fall 2018 Inspire(d)!

Cover photo by Arrival Arts / Lindsey Harman

The Fall 2018 Inspire(d) is filled with fun ideas for getting out of your comfort zone – we are so excited to share it with you! Here’s what you’ll find:

Fly Fishing • Seed Savers visits Svalbard Seed Vault • Roadschooling • Community Builders: Kelly Momsen & Gaby Peterson; Misty Lown; Katie Ruff • Pumpkin Surprise Balls • And More!

A note from Aryn:

Roxie and I were doing an activity in her (okay, our) Highlights Magazine the other day and it said, “Draw a picture of your happy place.” Roxie drew a picture of us, in bed, reading books. She asked me what mine would be, and I thought for a bit… “Probably sitting out on the patio. Or working in the garden,” I say, then pause… “Or maybe on the couch, watching TV.”

“Oh, yeah, I love to do that too!” Roxie says with a big smile.

These happy places – they’re basically the epicenter of our comfort zones – and to be honest, they’re not bad places to be in (of course not!). But a life spent only in the comfort zone could mean we’re missing opportunities along the way.

So this issue of Inspire(d) is all about embracing some of the leaps and bounds that take us to places we’ve never been. Occasionally getting a little “uncomfortable” will help us learn more about ourselves, and maybe discover our comfort zones are bigger than we think (check out page 23 to learn more)!

CLICK HERE to read the Fall 2018 issue of Inspire(d) Magazine!

I kicked my research off by trying something totally new to me: Fly fishing! There is an amazing community of fly fishing women building up across the Driftless, and they are super excited to welcome more women to the sport (pg 14). I had a blast getting to know them… AND learning more about fly fishing!

And then I was totally inspired when I read Kristine Jepsen’s story highlighting area families that have taken time to try roadschooling (pg 34). I don’t think we would ever do a whole year (or who knows?!), but a month in the winter? I could get on board with that.

We’d definitely would be interested in an exploration to the Svalbard Global Seed Vault (even if it IS the Arctic Circle). The place sounds amazing – read Sara Friedl-Putnam’s story about Seed Saver’s executive director Lee Buttala’s trip on pg 26 to see for yourself. The work of the folks involved, and the connections they’re making, will undoubtedly help keep this world spinning for future generations.

Yes, it’s all about connections and community. This issue marks our 11th anniversary of making Inspire(d). I’m grateful for each year we’re able to bring positive news to – and about – our neighbors here in the Driftless. We’re excited to continue the Community Builders section this Fall Inspire(d), and plan to keep doing so for each Fall Anniversary issue ahead. Read about Kelly Momsen and Gaby Peterson of Yarnology in Winona, Minnesota; Misty Lown, of Misty’s Dance Unlimited in Onalaska, Wisconsin; and Katie Ruff of By the Spoonful in McGregor, Iowa. These folks are working to bring people together, and we love that so much!

We hope you have a wonderful fall (I love this season)! Maybe get out of your comfort zone a bit… plan a night out with friends, or take a road trip to explore the region, or try something totally new to you! This is a big world we live in – let’s not let anything awesome pass us by.

Looking forward,

Aryn Henning Nichols

P.S. You know what else is totally awesome? Voting! Don’t forget to do so on or before Tuesday, November 6. XOX -A

CLICK HERE to read the Fall 2018 issue of Inspire(d) Magazine!

Read the Summer 2018 Inspire(d)!

Lots of fun things to look forward to in the Summer 2018 Inspire(d):

4-H • Dunning’s Spring bridge / Stonemason Ted Wilson • Viroqua’s Growing for Good • Adventures in the Driftless • Summer “Fill Your” Bucket List • Wabasha’s LARK Toys • Sum of Your Business: WW Homestead Dairy, Paper Butterflies, & More!

A note from Aryn:

Thinking back on my childhood, summer was all about adventures. Oftentimes, those adventures were just exploring the woods in my backyard or going down to the nearby creek with my cousins to squish cold mud between our toes.

So there’s nothing that brings me more joy than watching my kid run around our backyard, barefoot, hiding behind ferns and playing silly made-up games with her friends, or climbing up the rocks at Dunning’s Spring in Decorah. (Read Kristine Jepsen’s story about the new Dunning’s Spring bridge, and stonemason Ted Wilson on page 42 – it is fascinating!)

This is the stuff of summer, you guys!

Need a little inspiration to get you started? You clearly came to the right place! Check out our Summer Fill Your Bucket List, and some great events you might want to add to your Adventure Calendar this season (ever heard of the Catgut Paddle? It looks awesome!). Adventuring Ideas start on page 34, plus there’s a nice round up of resources available for exploring our little corner of the Driftless (pg 64), compiled by recent Luther grad Elizabeth Bonin.

CLICK HERE to read the Summer 2018 issue of Inspire(d) Magazine!

I know one adventure we’re adding to our list for sure: LARK Toys in Wabasha, Minnesota. How is it that I’ve never been to this giant (seriously, it’s 21,000 square feet!) toy store? Reading Maggie Sonnek’s story about how the current owners took on this “Willy Wonka-style” job – and how it connects to a slower pace of life – was truly beautiful (pg. 55).

Another big part of my childhood summer was 4-H. At the end of the school year, I would pick a pattern with my mom, and together we’d sew a project (inevitably we’d run right up on the fair deadline in July – an early sign of my aversion to deadlines?). I would often submit a photograph or another craft too, or maybe even do a presentation (I got to go to Cattle Congress as a junior member!). I remember painting awesome trash cans with our 4-H club name (the Cherry Valley Chums) for the Allamakee County Fair and working the food booth with fellow members.

(Sidenote: I totally could have entered something crafty with the Paper Butterflies Project Roxie and I put together on page 21.)

So yes: Fair time was the best! I think the Einck kids featured in this issue of Inspire(d) think the same thing (pg. 14)! Sara Friedl-Putnam tagged along with these three Decorah siblings as they took care of some of the animals they’re showing at the Winneshiek County Fair – from chickens to dogs to sheep to goats! Going through the livestock barns (and the 4-H building) is one of my favorite parts of the fair, and it was fun to get the background on what it takes to get there, and learn some of the history behind my beloved 4-H organization as well (pg. 14).

We’ve got lots of other great stories woven throughout this issue too – Growing for Good in Viroqua, Wisconsin (pg. 26), WW Homestead Dairy in Waukon (pg. 51), a wonderful probituary, and more.

We hope you have a great summer, friends, and that this magazine helps inspires you to get out adventuring!

Looking forward,

Aryn Henning Nichols

CLICK HERE to read the Summer 2018 issue of Inspire(d) Magazine!