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At odds: the competing scents of eucalyptus and dog do … and useful – and valuable – things

There are several things I will never understand:

  1. How a crazy man (it takes one to know one) was elected president

  2. Who shot JR

  3. Why people pick up after their dogs but cast aside the bags of dog shit

Early in very weekend morning walk, before sun up, I purposely cross Sharon View Road to pay a momentary visit to the neighborhood eucalyptus tree.

My brief stop is to pluck one of the roundish, fragrant leaves. I crumple and mash the lone leaf between my fingers to release its aromatic oils then hold the residue to my nose. The scent is utterly divine.

Alas, the sweet scent fades away all too quickly as other less-desirable things are handled.


As far as things that aggravate the living hell out of me, bags of dog shit tossed aside are at the top of the list. 

But there are a few rank-smelling items even I refuse to retrieve. Among them are poopy baby diapers – and bags of dog shit found along sidewalks. It can’t be sugar coated: it’s plain dog shit in a plastic bag. I come across new bags every day. I just won’t pick those up. I refuse to.

For the life of me, how is it that owners pick up after their pets but then proceed to throw the bags aside? Can’t you hold onto it for a another few minutes to dispose of properly? It’s one thing to leave stinky organic residue in the grass but it’s entirely another to introduce plastic to the environment. These castoff bags drive me utterly insane. Stop it, people. Stop it.

One of the upsides to my daily constitutionals is finding stuff I can ‘recycle’ for personal use.

My eyes-to-the-ground surveillance has yielded all manner of hand tools, bundles of zip ties, 16 oz. beer mugs, coins (including occasional folding money), a perfectly intact step ladder, packing tape dispensers, et al. I mean, you do this long enough and you’re bound to come across a lot of reusable things.

Including jewelry.

I am now in possession of a diamond ear stud. Both the setting and the clasp are of the high-end variety. The gem did scratch glass at first swipe. In some ways it would be nice to find the owner but how could that possibly be done? So the sparkly bauble will be taken into a jewelry store to be appraised. I dunno, if it is indeed the Real McCoy, maybe it will partially fund another fishing foray down to Bowens Island or my summer trek to the Bridger Wilderness in Wyoming.

Sometimes I forget I’m walking next to busy streets.

I apparently was lost in my own little world this morning as I stepped out to cross Sharon Road south of Fairview a block or so.

In an instant, a car’s horn blared as a Mercedes nimbly veered to miss me by three feet at most. I’ve gotta pay closer attention. Coffee isn’t the only thing that works as a waker-upper.

About Dave Bradley (264 Articles)
I was a writer by trade so one would think letters would come easily for me. It is so now, but wasn't always that way. Indeed, the first letter was written the Monday after Ellen started her freshman year in college. For years I've wondered - with no good answers - why I swiveled my office chair toward my computer screen to fire up a word processing document for that first letter. I just don't know. I just did. Perhaps it was the angst of separation or wanting to say things that had gone unsaid at that moment when we parted ways in front of her college dormitory. What was a one-off became habitual. When her brother Reid enrolled in the same college, his name was added to the salutation line. They were kids then and are adults now. No matter. The letter writing habit remains so today. I live in Brevard, North Carolina. I'm well away from where they live and don't see them nearly as often as I'd like. That's why letters, at least to me, fill the void of distance. The pages give me something to say and the space to say it. There is no assurance they read the letters; indeed, I have never asked if they do so. With the pace of their busy lives who could blame them for letting a letter sit unopened? Over time, it has dawned on me that the letters are both communicative - and cathartic. By nature, letters are about the writer; the writer can only write about their situation. Perhaps that is as it should be. It's all about the here and now from one person's perspective.

1 Comment on At odds: the competing scents of eucalyptus and dog do … and useful – and valuable – things

  1. elizabethbradford // March 27, 2017 at 1:05 am // Reply

    YIKES!!! Poop and diamonds and narrow escapes with death. Wow. Do you have one of those pincer things?

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