Nurses who make home visits will be able to relate to this.

I scan houses I would like to visit—to see not only who lives in them but how they live. What health problems or social issues would I have to address?

I took a picture of this house on the west side of Chicago before we moved to Maryland in the early ‘90’s. My good friend, Lois, drove me back there on a lovely  June day in 2007 when I came back to Chicago to attend her daughter’s wedding.

I was sad to see what happened to this house and even sadder that I never got to know who lived there.

best house on the block

You were spectacular.

Dressed unlike any other house in the neighborhood.

For the many years I walked down your street

but never saw the knight who lived inside you—

who displayed shields and crosses across your face.

A mantle of words draped over you like jewels

shouting for attention:

Tyrone Power



Jane Byrne


The day I left, I took your picture.

You smiled in the sun.


Years later, I stand before you.

Has your champion abandoned you to others

that scrape away your beauty?

Your mantle in tatters exposing your dull skin.

Will a new knight come and dress you like all the other bland houses

in this newly gentrified community?

I take your picture.

You look away.

By Marianna Crane

After a long career in nursing--I was one of the first certified gerontological nurse practitioners--I am now a writer. My writings center around patients I have had over the years that continue to haunt my memory unless I record their stories. In addition, I write about growing older, confronting ageism, creativity and food. My memoir, "Stories from the Tenth Floor Clinic: A Nurse Practitioner Remembers" is available where ever books are sold.


  1. Wow. It looks like there’s no way to even enter the house anymore. What happened to the stairs, I wonder, and everything else? Love the photos and your meandering thoughts about the houses.


  2. Fond memories! It appears that there must have been a host of some kind of issues in that original house. Or, maybe there were none; with all that self expression, maybe they were the healthiest people on the block!


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