The Counter Talk

Lately my family has been joking about having a podcast called “Counter Talk” In honor or our conversations around the kitchen counter. In our house, at the kitchen counter besides the food that gets put out for a gathering, there en el mostrador issues get pulled out, hashed out, dissected and either thrown out or left for another session. Nowadays it’s called “unpacking” with the good intention of calmly discussing a matter. Pero at the Greene home it’s more like something slipped out, or fell out. Ya sabes, when something is on our minds, we carry it with us, bouncing around our head very loosely y de repente! Bam, it’s on the kitchen counter. Aveces, one of us, usually Emery or myself will bring that heavyweight topic and purposely and not very gently place it on the counter, saying “This happened and I’m ticked!” 

What Does God Say About the Matter?

Through the years, Counter Talks have been therapeutic. We squeeze out every reaction, every feeling that comes forward because of ‘the issue,’ and we look for similar reactions from those at the counter. At the moment we don’t want to hear “What does God say about the matter?” Pero, pulling God into our counter talks makes them what they are; sometimes painful, beautiful, appreciated and refreshing. A veces, it’s one on one conversations but other times everyone at dinner is chiming in, contributing their thoughts to make sure all parts of the matter are viewed. While I’m on the kitchen side, working on something to serve, we are discussing a matter, and I will paint ‘the offender’ as maybe innocent or at the very least their intentions had no malice behind them, come on, they were not trying to hurt. It gets dicey when the conclusions come to:

“Let it go” Do nothing. God will make it right in the end, pero waiting for healing to come is so hard. Then there’s the other conclusion, You can’t just let it go, you’ve got to talk to that person, not about the person. You’ll have to ‘confront’ the matter and deal with it. Hijole! It can be dramatico, what if it ends a friendship? What if… All of this comes out at the counter.

When The Kids Grow Up

Nunca pense, that one day my kids would be “painting the bigger picture” at the kitchen counter. El otro dia, mi hijo was on my side of the kitchen counter?! While he ate his slice of chocolate cake and ice cream he said things like “Mom like you have always said” or “You taught us this” and he pulled God right into the matter! Luego, when we left the counter I received a text from my baby, ya se, he’s 20 and all grown up, his text reminded me that God’s gifts are worth fighting for. I laid in bed amazed at how much my kids hope in Jesus and despite their youth I was able to receive their gifts of encouragement and their challenges to believe God in the matter. 

En Conclusion

Este mes has been a hard month for me, I’ve wanted to run away, but that takes too much work, so I considered just crawling into bed to sleep “it” off and I have tried it, not sure if it helped. It’s been a month overflowing with every imaginable feeling surfacing and in me no strength to stop them from strutting. When Thomas, mi baby, sent that encouraging text he mentioned a “season of winter”  Hijole! I’m so very thankful for the support God has given me, winter is my least favorite season. Pero, I  am pleasantly and gratefully surprised that the support included my very own children.

Psalms 127:3 has taken a fuller, deeper meaning in my soul. “Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord. The fruit of the womb is a reward” (NKJ)

The Evolution of Girl Talk


Let’s Talk About Me

Como dice Toby Keith in his song?  “Every once in a while I wanna talk about me” Porque? Because girls love to talk.

Recently I have laughed with my peers, about what our conversations have come to. Asi es, las doñas comparing what life at halfway to 100 and beyond is like for us now. These conversations usually don’t happen with our menfolk because they fizzle pretty quickly. Hmmm, maybe it’s just with my Benjamin? Mira, here’s a sample of an afterwork conversation:

Benjamin comes home and greets me with a kiss:

Ben: Hello.

Me: Hi Honey, how was work?

Ben: good.

I wait to give him a chance to describe some of the good in his day. Too long a pause, I can’t wait.

Me: Oh, where did you work today?

Ben: Pt. Loma.

I wait. A longer pause. That was the end of that conversation. With my guy, if I want talk, I have to roll up my sleeves and work hard to extract it.

And So I Need Girl Talk

Girl talk goes up and down a long and windy path…and back again through the different seasons of life.

When I was a wee little girl, I jabbered about the latest coolest toys. Little Debbie always had the latest fads.

When I was a big little girl I talked about boys, how  they were disgustingly yucky in every way, not to mention annoying. 

When I was an awkward preteen we whispered about our periods. I was the last one to get mine, I wasn’t surprised, Zepedas were always last.

When I was 13, we shared our secret crushes and dreamed of being noticed. We didn’t know we were still quite awkward, so we strutted, swinging our ponytail as we walked and talked, aware of possible onlookers. Gone were the days of two pigtails.

When I was 15, we were openly discussing the cute boys and the current couples. I wasn’t allowed to have a boyfriend, pero, the one I crushed over definitely crushed my daydreaming. 

When I was 18 I worried about surviving college life. Serious, downcast talk with my one and only amiga. They included our grades, social life and more boys. Deep stuff.

When I was 20, I was changing my view about marriage and I talked with my friends, wondering if I’d ever get married. Imaginate! I was getting muy vieja.

When I was 23 and a young new wife I worried that I’d never ever have a baby. I worried with my friend that maybe there was something wrong with me? We talked anxiously and strategized and held our breath for our cycle, hoping it didn’t come this month.

When I was a mom, we talked about raising babies. Nursing or bottle fed? Could breastfeeding be the one way to bond with your newborn? Yikes! My almost 11 lb. baby didn’t care nothing about connecting to his ama, he wanted to eat! Gerber? Or do you puree your own food? Then there was the dilemma of cloth diapers or Disposables, hijole! I remember those pails of dirty diapers! My resolve didn’t last long. Later the talk was about choosing the right brand, Huggies or Pampers? Those conversations have not quite ended, but now they now include “back in my day.”

When I was carrying my 2nd baby, It only made sense that I should get a girl. But, these conversations were only with God. Sabes porque? I was so dang worried about having a girl!!! Raising a girl is a whole different level and I was just barely getting used to boys. What in the world was I gonna do with a nena in my arms? In my care? I went back and forth. Dios mio dame una niña ...But what would I do with her? It looked like they were more demanding. In fact, I knew I was pretty high maintenance as far as emotions go. What if I didn’t know how to dress her pretty like? What if she was a chillona? 

When I was 30, it looked like I was done having babies. I talked about being done with the older ladies. I shared the plans I had besides having babies, and they smiled. Ellas ya sabian.

When I was 35, I was talking about weight loss and exercise. Thankfully, since I wasn’t done having babies after all, I tweaked my conversations to not getting fat during my last pregnancy by eating healthy and exercising.

When I was 40 something and raising teens, or was that facing teens? I was definitely talking to the other moms, wondering if I was the only mom in the world that felt that teenage disdain of “I know mom, I know” They know it all.

When my teens had crossed over to adulthood, I was having good talks with them. Increible. I’ve enjoyed some girl talk with my girl, I’m not so scared of her anymore.

When I was really close to the ½ mark to 100 and becoming a mother in law, I talked to my friends, it was a very hard role to step into and most of them were not in that place yet. So those talks were more about the “what ifs” to come. Almost 10 years into the mother in law shoes, I sometimes find my heels are too high, pero ni modo I have to walk real nice, like my mother in law did for me.

When the Abuelita title came knocking at my door. I cringed. Two of my abuela friends were called Nana and the other was Grandma, Que? These were my homies, my Mexican American friends. Why weren’t they called Abuelita or Abue? Maybe they cringed too? Then I remembered my ama was called ama by her first grandkids. That was perfect. Talking to my girlfriends I realized that kids will call us what comes first, or natural to them. One of my friends is called “Wata”…ya se, I’m not sure how that evolved. Another one is called “Wela” I told my kids I wanted to be “Ama”, they were on board and when my first grandchild started addressing me, she pronounced it “Duh-ma” and so it is. These days ama, wata and grandma talk about the growing brood of grandkids… Did I mention that number 8 is on the way? 

Lately, when I talk to my peers, my homies, my comadres, guess what topic is always dying to come forth? Yup! Our aches and pains. Yesterday I talked with my friend about everything and winded down to our stiff bones and achy muscles. 

Today I spent a good long hour talking to my bestie about our grey hair. Asi es. Last month I was done with dyeing, this month I’m not sure. Should I go grey? Yes! Free yourself of the burden of beauty! No! You’ll look like a vieja, or an abuela…please don’t get me out of my delusion just yet. To grey or not? That is my question. We talked about the “appropriateness” of a woman my age coloring her hair in dark tones. She suggested I ease into my grey, como? By dyeing it! It was a deep discussion, involving age, investment, and facing reality.

In conclusion:

We girls need to talk. These seemingly insignificant topics are packed full and very important.

I still jump into the other cycles because maybe like the bible says “let the older women teach the younger” And, a bonus for me is that I have learned quite a bit in this rapidly changing world from the younger women. 



Most important in my opinion and Gods book is that girl talk can be, should be, good talk, fun talk, edifying talk. Girl Talk should be comfortable enough to have Jesus right there in the mix of the masa.