Amy Wise and Madge Stein Woods…Sharing Stories of Friendship…

The Next Family

By: Amy Wise and Madge Stein Woods

Amy:

Open Your Minds and Jump Out of the Box…

There are many benefits to being in an interracial relationship. One of them is having to have an open mind. Why is this a benefit you might ask? Well, when your mind is open the adventures are endless. If one is open to living in a marriage that is wrapped around multiple cultures, then odds are you will be open to so much more!

I’m a very “out of the box” kind of thinker, and saying I have an open mind is an understatement. I’m not about stepping out of the box and experiencing the world; I’m about jumping out of the box and soaking in every moment!

This past weekend was no exception. I spent the weekend with a friend I have never met in person. Ya, that’s right…we had never met until now. My “writing world” has brought not only joy to my life, but it has also brought amazing, talented women into my life.

One of those women is Madge. She found me on She Writes which is a site for women writers. She asked if I would like to be part of the team of writers at The Next Family. The rest, as they say, is history! We got to know each other via The Next Fam and my blog, then we got to know each other as facebook friends, then we started emailing, then we talked on the phone, then we decided to meet in person. We both live in So Cal, and we are both busy, busy, but it was time for this cyber-friendship to become a face to face friendship.

Soooo…this past weekend Madge drove South and spent Saturday and Sunday at our home. Before she arrived, my husband said, “Are you nuts having a perfect stranger come stay at our house? She could be a stalker!” I told Madge what Jamie said and also told her, “My husband is really big, so if you are a stalker he can take you down!” We both got a good laugh and continued on with our plans. My daughter also thought I was crazy for having someone I had never met come visit, and not only that, but spend the night. I explained to both my hubby and daughter that it feels like I have known her forever. They said, “How do you know if what you think you know is real?” Good point, but, I just knew. Was I right? Oh yes! We had a fabulous weekend getting to know each other eye to eye. Talking, shopping, eating, movies, more talking…a perfect girl weekend! I’m still smiling. As Madge says, “We are soul sisters separated at birth.”

I count myself as blessed beyond belief to be part of a community of women that are talented, creative, open, kind, helpful, and truly amazing! Whether we have met in cyberspace or in person, these women are now part of my life and for that I am thankful. So here’s to all the creative women, to open minds, and to always jumping out of the box!

Amy Wise is a Writer in San Diego.
You can read more at Shades Of Love

Madge:

Meeting a friend who you’ve never met in person…

How can two call themselves friends if they have never met in person? The internet has allowed this phenomena to happen for so many people. I have an entire group of women who I converse with on a daily basis who know more about me than some of my “real” friends and yet we have never met. This past weekend I decided to drive 140 miles to meet one of my newest friends. I found Amy on a writers’ website and approached her about writing for a website that I work for as a volunteer. After scoping out 100’s of sites Amy made an impression. She has been in an interracial marriage for 18 years and had a story to tell. I loved her writing and her words spoke to me. “How can that be?” people asked me all the time. How can you feel so close to someone you hardly know? By know, they meant never met. I try to explain, but to people who are not open enough to venture in that area they find it too scary. What if she is not who she appears to be? What if all her pictures and travels are only in her head and the pictures she posts are not hers? What if she is a diabolical killer or stalker? How can you invite a stranger into your home and have them sleep over? Are you nuts in thinking this is safe? The answer is and has always been yes, I am secure in what I am doing. By chatting on websites and facebook and writing forums you come to know people in another dimension. They represent themselves through their creativity and art. They write their stories and invite you in. And I leap at the chance to meet them. To this day I have found only what I expected from these visits: loving women who share their joy and sorrow with the writing community and are “good folk” and tell truths upon truths of their lives and families. They are a window into the goodness of people, and the belief that people like to share, and that their truths help to open your truths and help you to see just how alike we really are. It is a risk worth taking and I would encourage anyone to try it. You will be enchanted by the extraordinary people you meet.

Madge Stein Woods is a writer in L.A.

You can read more at Madge Musings

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