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The Choptank. Walt Whitman. and Me.


This is what you shall do:  Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of your life, re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul; and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body.   

Walt Whitman originally prefaced this in Leaves of Grass. It was subsequently deleted. Thank you, Lyn Brakeman for reminding me, and Dory Shilling for putting it right before my eyes.

I love this. I want my very flesh to be a great poem every day. I tested it with my kids, albeit with fear and trembling. One me, six kids, lots of Choptank.


I was dead wrong. Well, there was one night of trepidation when the raging wind blew open the french door mutliple times in the middle of the night. I would up with SEVERAL kids in my bed for the night. I now understand the power of the wind and the waves. I also understand the power of still water,  unplugging from the rat race and the beautiful bonding that comes from letting the soundtrack be the gulls and clanging lanyards. Sunrise to sundown every day. Best vacation ever.





My Kristiana. 15.



Family mealtime . . . my parents, my cousin, Syndy, and a gaggle of hungry kids!! We told the BEST stories of our families growing up on the Choptank.

Ali girl:)


Contempletative Kathryn Sloan.


My cousin, Syndy . . . attorney by day, supermom by day and night.

My crew . . . including a varied assortment of nieces and nephews!!

King of the Crabs, Will . . . 13.

My introspective reader, Caroline, aged 11.

My birthday boy . . . seven year old Sam.

A special thank you to my sister, Nancy Howard and Captain’s Quarters owner, Frank Reagoso for helping my family to sketch some indelible family memories of our own!!! Nancy and I styled and shot this property for Frank . . . it was a pleasure to come back to enjoy it!!  Check out the gallery . . . I am loving shooting properties these days.


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