Morning errands seem never-ending. Today, we went towards Bryson City instead of Sylva. We stopped at the coffee shop to ask if Bryson City has a pet store. Of course, I stopped in the coffee shop to ask. I could search GPS, but people have better answers about local places. Besides, I am still training Birdie about being a polite canine in public places. I’ve discovered she REALLY likes people. There were no qualms about tying her to a tree on the porch while I asked for directions and a coffee. She wouldn’t try to escape. I wasn’t in the shop long before she started barking. The bark was the one that meant, “Why aren’t those people petting me?” The bark is happy but shrill. It’s just one decibel lower than the scream bark which is her Squirrel bark.
I go outside to keep her quiet. One of the employees is talking to her trying to assure her. I apologize to her and the one waiting on me. The girl says there are children that make more noise than any dogs. I get that. Oh, and I neglected to mention, there is also a train across the street. A bell clangs and a steam engine hisses to remind me. When I stoop to get Birdie’s leash, I see what appears to be a shiny rhinestone or crystal near the leash. Like a crow enthralled with shiny objects I reach to pick it up.

It melts on my fingertips because it was a drop of pine sap rather than something solid. I’m disgusted by the feel of the slimy sap and annoyed because I know pine sap can stay on one’s skin for days. Then, as I try to rub the sap off of my fingers, there’s the wonderful smell of pine. The sap comes off easier and I see that the tree itself is a different species of tree, though I can’t identify it.

Birdie hoping for a bite of my bagel.
A nice tourist comes up and pets Birdie. I watch the other tourists looking at the train and taking pictures. Several squeaky cars drive by because the coffee shop, Mountain Perks, is near the stop light. A service dog comes by and Birdie is offended that he didn’t even see her. She doesn’t understand that the german shepherd is working. At least she doesn’t bark at it. Birdie does turn to me with a questioning look. A woman in the group smiles at Birdie as though she understands the small dog’s confusion.
There’s not particular reason for this writing. It is merely a beautiful day in the mountains where pine sap becomes diamond and the light coming through the forest dances. People smile at each other. A train conductor waves to a woman walking across the tracks with a yellow Dollar General bag in hand. A car drives by and someone is laughing. It’s a good day to be alive.