Roxanne Henke

Is Santa Claus real?

My husband doesn’t like the start of this story. But, he comes around by the end.

For many years, we put up a large Christmas tree in the lobby of our family business. We decorated the tree with glass bulbs, strings of mini-lights and about 80 gift tags. Each tag had the name of a resident living in our local nursing home.

Roxanne Henke

Letting go

It all started with my dad’s trip to Germany in the 1960s. He returned with lots of stories, and gifts for his daughters. My gift was a Hummel figurine. Until then, I had no idea what a Hummel was, but I soon learned they were unique (at the time) and kind of expensive, especially for a young teen like me to have. I placed the porcelain replica on my dresser in my bedroom. It depicted a young boy looking through an old-fashioned camera on a tripod, with a puppy at his feet. I loved it.

Roxanne Henke’s granddaughter, Simone, celebrates a milestone.

Other lessons learned in school

Simone, the granddaughter who made me a grandma for the first time, graduated from elementary school (fifth grade in Texas). I know, an elementary school graduation might be an eye-roll event for some people. What’s the big deal?

School came easy for me. I hardly remember studying, although I must have. I didn’t get the top grades, but I was consistently on the B honor roll. Algebra II and physics were my downfall. Geometry was the worst!
School came easy for Simone’s mom, Rachael, too. She was much better at math than I was and graduated near the top of her class.

Roxanne Henke

Inspired Living: June 2022

“I want to QUIT!” My fifth-grade daughter slammed the piano keys in a discordant chord she certainly didn’t learn from any piano teacher. “I HATE piano!”

We had been through this same pound and protest many times in the five years since she had started lessons. I’d been there myself when I was her age. But, with the perspective of years, I knew some day she’d thank me.

Roxanne Henke

Inspired Living: February 2022

“Sometimes, my friend and I pretend we’re popular,” my 10-year-old granddaughter’s clear voice spoke into the warm summer afternoon. There was no offense. Just fact.

Her words stopped me. What? My just-out-of-fourth-grade granddaughter was worried about being popular? She wasn’t popular? I might have to march over to her school and…

What I really said was, “How do you pretend you’re popular?”

Roxanne Henke

Inspired Living: December 2021

I don’t like to talk on the phone much. Even more, I don’t like to talk on the phone after supper. So, when the phone rang about 8:30 p.m. that late-December night, I was tempted to not answer. But, I also have an inability to not answer the phone. “Hello?”

“This is a call from the hospital. Your mother is in the ER. You need to get here.”

Roxanne Henke

Inspired Living: October 2021

When my husband and I got married, even though we were mostly broke, we felt like we had it made. We spent the first four years of our marriage working as “dorm parents” in a high-rise at North Dakota State University. The job included a spacious furnished apartment, three meals a day at the dining center (that’s right, I didn’t have to cook for four years!) and full health benefits, in addition to a salary. The only expense we had was long-distance phone calls.