Roxanne Henke

Manage those screens

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

Embracing failure

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

The five-second game

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

Resolve and reflect

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

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.”