Mom – The Bagel Lady

My mom jokes that according to my blog, she’s ruined my life. I laugh right back. She knows it’s not true – but she also knows that she’s taking a chance when she reads my posts because, as humans, we make mistakes. We all do – one day, I’ll be privy to all the things that I did to my son that ‘ruined his life’ – but he’ll still love me. And I still love my mom – and she most certainly did *NOT* ruin my life.

We don’t always see eye to eye on things  – like clothes, tattoos, piercings and hair…but she never told me I could not wear what I wanted. Ever.  Yes, she did stop speaking to me for a few months after she discovered my one ‘small’ tattoo turned into a back piece – but we worked that out.  And I will never forget coming home from a club at age 17 (one in which I was forbidden to go) and seeing her eyes glowing red as she sat in the dark in a chair waiting for me…  and she did freak out a little, OK, A LOT when I sported black and orange hair as a teenager… but in the scope of life – that’s pretty small.

My mom did a pretty amazing thing – she opened a business when I was 14 years old – a bagel bakery. She made the best bagels going at The Bagel Hearth. Because of that, I started working when I was 14, bought all my own clothing, bought my own car, paid for my own insurance and got to forego having to work at a fast food restaurant in my teen years. That’s pretty amazing.

Anyone that has any experience with a business in food service knows how hard it is – how much of a toll it takes on everyone’s lives. You don’t ever ‘leave’ your deli/bakery/restaurant when you go home at night – it’s always in your life – well, it becomes your life.   I won’t lie – the Bagel Hearth tore my world apart – and my Mom eventually had to shut things down for a variety of reasons.  I know she saw herself as a failure – but I want her to know she was NOT a failure.  She took a chance and showed what kind of steel she has in her spine to run a business that is in constant motion 24 hours a day.  Baking bagels is extremely complex. Everything from the bagels soaking in water to how many times it rotates around in the oven to when you flip them off the canvas bagel boards is about timing.  Do you know where many bakers learn to bake bagels? In jail.  So she’s starting off with a entirely unique segment of society as an added extra.

Out of all of it – yes, it tore our world apart – but everyone rebuilt it better than before.  I have a lot of different kinds of memories of my years at the Bagel Hearth – some bad and many fantastic.  But mostly it was of my mom taking a chance and showing everyone that a woman can run a business and make the best freakin’ bagels in Arizona.

Mom – I salute you this Mother’s Day – you are, and always will be, “The Bagel Lady”.

My Mom is one 'hot property'

My Mom is one ‘hot property’

About Rutabaga the Mercenary Researcher

I'm a research librarian for Public Television, story teller, bike commuter, baker, music fiend, lover of reading & books, mother, wife, friend - and many more descriptive adjectives and nouns.
This entry was posted in Baking, Childhood, Cooking, Family, Food, Humor, love, Random Thoughts, Story and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

47 Responses to Mom – The Bagel Lady

  1. The Hook says:

    In bellman-speak, a bagel refers to being stiffed by a guest, but your mom is so cool, I just have to say: Bagels rock!

  2. Lisa Neumann says:

    Enjoyed this post. Had to chuckle when I read. My mom relates to your mom.
    And the photo is beautiful too.

  3. MissFourEyes says:

    Such a sweet post about your mom. Hope both of you had a great Mother’s Day!

  4. Rohan 7 Things says:

    Awesome post, you both look great! Haha, I didn’t know people actually did the “Sitting in the dark, tapping their foot, waiting” thing. I’ll bet the first words out of her mouth were “Do you have any idea what time it is young lady?” Hehe 🙂

    She sounds like a courageous character to take on such a huge task. It’s never a failure if lessons were learned and experiences were had 🙂

    Thanks for sharing! All the best to the both of you 🙂


    • I think the first words out of her mouth were “Were you at the Fineline?” and it all went downhill from there… but we even worked it out – and after I felt horrid for lying about going there – she let me go once I convinced her I was safe – and among friends.

      Thanks for reading!

  5. unfetteredbs says:

    “seeing her eyes glowing red as she sat in the dark in a chair waiting for me…”– such a classic Mom move, eh? Great loving post about a wonderful mom. You’re a lucky gal 🙂 Rocking pic too .

  6. Lady Lovely says:

    Wonderful and beautiful tribute.
    Happy Mothers Day to both of you.

  7. mairedubhtx says:

    What a nice way to say Happy Mother’s Day to your mom! And such a nice picture too! Your mom is one amazing woman. And she has an amazing daughter, even with a tattoo. Happy Mother’s Day to you both!

  8. Pingback: And Ode to My Mother | Stuphblog

  9. Lynda says:

    Your Mom is amazing, and she raised an amazing daughter. Happy Mothers’ Day to two strong, beautiful, awesome women!

  10. Elyse says:

    What a wonderful pair! Happy Mother’s Day, Ruta’s Mom!!!!! Great tribute. Except that I now know that telling my son, then aged 12, that I was not going to pay for him to get a Mohawk ruined his life. He has one now, at 22. But at least I didn’t pay for it.

  11. runningonsober says:

    Happy Mother’s Day, D, to you and your mom! Love love love the photo of you both, hot mommas!

  12. Lisa says:

    As you know, I enjoy your Mom quite a bit (and I think the amusement is mutual?). I wish I could write something like this about my Mom, but I love that you are able to write it about yours. She really is something, and I mean that in the best way possible!!

  13. El Guapo says:

    She sounds like a great woman. Thanks for introducing us.

    (As a New Yorker, I appreciate the difficulty of finding good bagels.)

  14. stephrogers says:

    I love this! Happy mother’s day, and here’s to not screwing up our kids too much!
    Now I want a bagel.

  15. The Waiting says:

    I loved this so much. We’d all by lying if we said our moms were perfect. Mine certainly wasn’t, and I know I’ll never be. But they do what’s best for us. And if we can get a few bagels out in the process, then it’s a total win situation.

    Happy Mothers Day to you both!

    • Thank you!! I am sure baby C will be writing wonderful things about her amazing Mama!!

      I don’t want a perfect Mom – I just want MY MOM – and I could never live up to perfection –

      And always a few bagels is worth it – especially her CHEDDAR CHEESE BAGELS with Jalapeno cream cheese… oh the joy!

  16. Happy Mother’s Day to you and the Bagel Lady!! Hugs.

  17. Lisa says:

    Very sweet. Happy Mothers Day!

  18. twindaddy says:

    Wonderful tribute!

  19. SocietyRed says:

    You and your mom are awesome! Happy Mother’s Day

  20. Carrie Rubin says:

    Nice tribute to your mom. Hope you and she both have a great Mother’s Day. 🙂

  21. Smaktakula says:

    Hooray for all good moms! It sounds like you landed a winner.

    It’s unfortunately so natural for people to think that because they have failed they are therefor failures, but it’s also dead wrong. If you think that a single failure makes YOU a failure (and you obviously don’t, I hasten to add), then look at it this way: You’ve had broccoli before, right? Does that make you a vegetarian? If you ARE a vegetarian, then this is a really crappy analogy.

  22. janet says:

    You are precious! Happy Mother’s Day to you and your mom 🙂

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