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The excitement, first felt in my stomach, is building within me. We’ve almost reached the place that will enable me to begin every day of the next two weeks happy and satisfied. I’ve been craving what awaits me inside this place for the last ten days. The aroma is enveloping my senses and with every step closer the wonderful smell grows stronger and stronger. I walk inside with my mother, already thinking about what combination of bagels I want to order: six salt, three onion, and three cinnamon-raisin or seven, two, and three? I decide on five salt, five cinnamon-raisin, and only two onion because I remember we don’t have any tomatoes at home, and onion bagels are best with cream cheese and tomatoes. For the two-hour ride home, I position the bagels as far away from my seat as possible, lest I be tempted to bite into one which would cause another bagel-less morning.
Small, rural towns are great places to grow up, and I’m thankful I’ve lived in one. But there is one key element to life here, at least to my life here, that is lacking—good, fresh bagels. The culinary talent for all types of food in the area is not exactly first-rate, or even of mediocre quality. This is expected and accepted, but there isn’t even a bad bagel place around us, let alone a good one. For most of my hunger needs, I can deal with the less-than-tasty experience, but I cannot live without fresh bagels! I’m a fan of all types of bagels: cinnamon-raisin, onion, cheese, sesame, plain, and my favorite, salt. My infatuation with these circles of baked goodness began when I was very young and my grandparents brought fresh bagels with them on their visits from their home in Michigan. I’ve been hooked ever since; just the smell of a good bagel elicits the satisfying and happy memories that come with every salt bagel covered in cream cheese.
If I could, I’d eat a bagel for breakfast five times a week, and have an additional two or three bagels for snacks or other meals. However, the only bagels one can find in my town are the bagels from the frozen food aisle at the grocery store and compared to the taste of fresh bagels, those bagels compare to driving a 1989 Geo as opposed to driving a brand-new Porsche. As a result, I have to make a monthly two-hour trip (not often enough if it were up to me) with my mother to get several dozen bagels. Living where I do, I’ve become accustomed to the idea of going the extra mile (or hundred miles) to get the best. Whether it is to get the best bagels or to get as much out of an education as possible, going further than most is something I’ve had to do and will continue to do in the future.
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