“Something looks back from the trees,/and knows me for who I am.” —

American poet, Jane Hirshfield. 

WILD ACRESI spent five days at Wildacres in Little Switzerland, North Carolina at a writers’ retreat: The Powerful Narrative lead by Carol and Bill Henderson this past September.

My good friend, Lois Roelofs, flew in from Chicago to join me.

Lois and I at Wild Acres

Without phones, clocks or television in our rooms, we wander on wooded paths forest pathaccompanied by our thoughts and the music of nature.

the bellA bell rings to alert us to go to the dining hall for meals.


dining hall


Lois reads from her book: Caring Lessons.

Lois Read from her book

The last night’s line-up to read. I am first. signed on to read

After I’m halfway though the story, Trying to hold it together I’m surprised that my voice breaks and my eyes begin to tear.

It’s the first time I have read “Hello Beautiful” to an audience. After all these years,

this patient still gets to me.

Anything can happen on a writing retreat.

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. Thanks Marianna. After reading your comments and seeing the pictures I feel transposed to that special place once again.


  2. Marianna, the retreat looks totally wonderful. I’m looking at the programs offered and trying to find a “fit” for Marty and myself.
    Thank you for introducing me to writing again and I really appreciate you following my memoirs.


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