Roxanne Henke

At a wedding years ago, the DJ said, “All married couples, get on the dance floor.” I dragged my husband away from a conversation, and we were soon swaying at the edge of the crowd. Then the DJ said, “If you’ve been married longer than five years, keep dancing. Everyone else, sit down.” Then it was 10, 15, 20 and 25 years. At this point, my husband and I were grumbling under our breath. Neither of us likes having much attention, but we could see what was happening and we figured we would be close to the last ones standing.

Roxanne Henke

Fifty years is a long time to be married, yet I remember the second night of our honeymoon as if it was yesterday. We made it to Denver, Colo., and found a Best Western motel, which was splurging considering neither one of us had a job.
We decided to go to a movie, and I used a payphone in the lobby to call my mom and let her know where we were. She was upset with me, because my uncle, who hadn’t been invited to the wedding, was upset with her. I fought tears until we got back to the motel. There, I threw myself onto the bed and started sobbing.

Roxanne Henke

I still remember the first time I saw him. I was sitting cross-legged on the stage of the old Bison fieldhouse at North Dakota State University. The physical education instructor was telling us there had been 10 marriages over the years from the ballroom dancing class we were about to start. I looked over my shoulder and there he stood, late to class and very cute.

Roxanne Henke

During the weeks leading up to Christmas when I was a kid, my sisters and I would stand on our fireplace hearth and, with Mom’s prompting, practice our lines for the church’s Christmas Eve program. I don’t ever remember having much of a part, but I was still filled with worry about forgetting the few words I had to say.

My mom, an excellent seamstress, always sewed new, red dresses for my sisters and me. We slipped them on, put our black patent-leather shoes over our white lace-trimmed anklets, then we would stand on our fireplace hearth and pose for photos.

Roxanne Henke

If you are a Facebook or Instagram user, something will pop into your feed from a perfect stranger every now and then. Who knows how it got there. Maybe it’s a friend of a friend of a third cousin once removed.

That happened to me a few months ago. I saw a post from someone, and I had no clue who he was. The guy wrote about a short conversation he had (with a perfect stranger) while waiting in line. He went on to say how nice it was to interact with this random person, and he urged his friends to be brave and strike up conversations with people they don’t know.

Roxanne Henke

The conversation went something like this:

Mom (my daughter, Rachael): “Axel, you need to put your iPad away and come eat.”

Axel (age 9): “But, I’m not done with my game.”

Mom: “Five more minutes.” Five minutes later: “Axel, time to eat.”

Axel: “But, my game isn’t over!”

Read those above four lines three more times. Finally, I chimed in, “What does it take for your game to be over?”

Axel (staring at and clicking on the screen): “It doesn’t get over.”

Me: “What? It never ends?”

Roxanne Henke

What do pie crust and golf have in common? Let me tell you two stories.

Let’s start with golf. The physical education department in my little school didn’t have much of a budget. When it came to golf, we were told to grab a club and swing. I’m left-handed, but I was forced to learn right-handed, if you could call it “learning.”

Roxanne Henke

You have five seconds. Name three superheroes. Go! Name three things you can jump on! Go!

It was just a simple, silly game I was playing with my grandkids, ages 8 and 5 at the time. Between the jumping around and giggling, there was hardly one question they managed to answer in five seconds. Until I asked this question: “Name three things adults do!”

And, my 5-year-old grandson rattled off, “Eat. Sleep. Look at their phones.”

And he still had two seconds left. “Look at their phones.” Ouch.

Roxanne Henke

I’m big on New Year’s resolutions. A new year seems like a good time to implement that old cliché: out with the old, in with the new. When our kids were young, we took them out for an early dinner at our local café on New Year’s Eve. They could order whatever they wanted – usually a burger, fries and a chocolate malt. While we shared a meal, we also shared our New Year’s resolutions. I can’t remember what our pre-teens resolved for the coming year, but I do remember we all took our “resolve” very seriously.

Roxanne Henke

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.