We're in that down time between Christmas and New Year's, when you may be driving WITH relatives or TO relatives, during the ramp up for the next event.
The subject matter that comes up during drives like these is not unlike the flinging of dung against a wall. You never know what's going to stick. In between the discussions about where to stop for lunch with seven people, three of them kids [from Taco Bell, a definite NO, shouted from the way back, to Cracker Barrel, a 1/2 hour wait, to McDonald's, only if we have to, to IHOP, where we ended up], we talked about earthshaking matters such as brown eggs versus white eggs.
As a repository of information I cannot recall learning, I informed those present that I was pretty sure brown eggs were from red hens, often Rhode island Reds, and white eggs are from white hens, which must have a brand name, but I didn't know what it was. Otherwise no difference. Brown eggs tend to be slightly larger because the hens are slightly larger. I discovered there are many types of white hens which lay different sizes of white eggs. And then there are Martha Stewart's eggs, which are blue.
We had access to the internet in the car, but didn't google more information until we got to our destination and discovered that brown eggs may cost more, not because they're fresher or better tasting, but because bigger hens cost more to feed. My sister-in-law is convinced that the brown eggs she gets from the farmer's market are indeed fresher than the whites. I said chances are they're all several weeks old by the time no matter where she buys them.
In fact, I'm convinced that unless you can watch a farmer walk into the barn where the chickens are kept and you can see him actually pick the eggs out of the nests, you have no idea how fresh they are. I can confirm that THOSE eggs, with their firm, not watery, whites, and bright yellow yolks have a noticeably different taste than store bought. Brown or white. But my sister-n-law thinks that brown ones are ALWAYS better, fresher, more natural, more organic, etc., than white ones will ever be. I said the perception of quality was all a marketing ploy to disguise the reason for the higher price. The nutrition and taste of both colors are the exactly the same. So, we'll just agree to disagree. Even though she has the credibility of being an attorney and a partner in a law firm. But then again, I'm Mrs. Linklater.
Meanwhile, back in the car, we learned via facebook for iPhone that another sister-in-law was having contractions a thousand miles away. It's her first baby and the doctor said to wait until they were 60 to 90 seconds long and five minutes apart before taking things seriously. Friday is the actual due date. Meanwhile, mother-to-be and hubba bubba were going to go for a walk to Starbuck's. I was asking unanswerable questions like, how effaced and dilated is she? How far apart are the contractions NOW, not how far apart do they have to be? As with most first babies, the contractions stopped.
As the drive continued, other facebook people weighed in with suggestions that eating spicy food could help speed things up. It occurred to me that a sudden drop in barometric pressure is also a useful tool to get the baby going. So she should find a hurricane and go sit in it. Not to mention the power of drinking castor oil, a tasty suggestion I made including a link to a mommy site that described the process in detail.
I'm nothing if not helpful.
The kids were strapped into their seats like all children in this electronic age -- mesmerized by videos and games on iPads and iPods. Ah, the silence of the lambs. However, the adults were reminded of the alternative with a full throttle five-minute meltdown of one child whose sister was using his gadget, "I want my iPod!" "I want my iPod!" "I want my iPod!" The mantra did not end until his father started to tickle him and he ran out of breath from laughing.
We stopped for gas and milk about six miles from our destination. I needed to stretch my legs so I snooped around the store and made suggestions like -- how about some EGG NOG!!! And did you see the Ben and Jerry's? They've got a flavor called Clusterfluff now. Everybody thought I made the name up.
Later, as several caps of dark rum and brandy made their way into glasses of the egg nog I had successfully procured, following a gourmet dinner of delivered [not DiGiorno] pizza and an iceberg lettuce salad, tossed with ranch dressing, we decided to go back in the morning for a pint of whatever that Ben and Jerry's Clusterfluff is, based on the name alone. After we pick up the bagels and cream cheese.