My Life with God

The Everything Bagel

©Pio Bagels Brooklyn

When in New York, bring home bagels.

That’s an important travel tip.

Here’s another: Everything Bagels stink.

I don’t like them, but a couple people in my family do, so I picked up several in my baker’s dozen. I wouldn’t be leaving the state until the next day, but it was my last morning in Brooklyn, and I wanted to savor a fresh bagel from my favorite place: Pio on Lawrence Street. How could I not like it when it’s on “my” street?

I sat at the counter and enjoyed watching locals quickly walk by while I savored my wheat bagel. I was prepared for the dozen I’d take home. I left plenty of room in my luggage, and I had freezer bags to place each one into to make it quick and easy to place in the freezer the next night when I got home late. I divided and packed them, then set out to explore Brooklyn and Manhattan for the day.

By mid-afternoon, I jumped on the train to head out of the city. As I relaxed, every now and then I caught a whiff of something that smelled like onion or garlic. I wondered who around me had a strongly-seasoned lunch.

Then I realized it was my luggage. Those everything bagels.

I was glad the train wasn’t super crowded. At least I didn’t offend too many people.

As soon as I settled into my room, I snatched all the bags of bagels from my luggage and hoped my clothes I planned to present in the next day weren’t too oniony or garlicy. When I returned to my room several hours later after eating, the scent seemed even stronger.

It either started to dissipate or I became less sensitive to it the next morning when I repacked my bag, including the bagels. But I let the event host know that any intrusion of onion or garlic was my responsibility since my bags stayed with me through the sessions.

I arrived at the airport quite early and thankfully had plenty of time to go through the slow security line. When I finally arrived at the checkpoint, I did all the normal things: put my shoes and liquids in a bin and my laptop in another bin. I didn’t have any checked bags, so I was careful what I packed in my carry-on.

The agent asked if I had food or drink in my bag.

“Just some bagels.”

“You’ll need to take them out.”

I laughed as I confirmed, “All of them? I have a baker’s dozen.”

“Yes, ma’am.”

So, I ended up with three bins, one nearly full of fresh New York bagels. Some of them still stinky.

The agent assured me this wasn’t the first time he had seen a bin of bagels leaving NYC.

All the bagels made it home safely and were enjoyed by a variety of people. I thought the everything bagels’ smell would invade…everything. But the others were fine. I was glad I had taken freezer bags.

Transporting those bagels reminded me of how we have a lot of “everything” in life that can invade our journey with a stench. There might be some things we like about the everything but that doesn’t eliminate the stench of some aspects of it. The benefits and joy of the everything might still be worth the inconvenience and stench. But maybe not.

What’s the everything in your life right now? What stench are you having to cope with? What joy comes along with the stink?

Deal with it. Appreciate it. And keep choosing well.

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