We’d love your help making the dispatch better.
We’re rapidly approaching our 50th dispatch. The format evolved quickly into what you see now. It has served us well and many of you have had kind things to say. I also believe that rhythm and familiarity are important facets of Uncommon.
Rhythm needn’t hold back creativity, though. As we near the one-year mark, this is the perfect opportunity to look at the dispatch with fresh eyes. Uncommon is a community and the dispatch should always be a reflection and expression of that community as it evolves and grows.
If you’re game, take a moment to answer a few questions. Link removed as it’s no longer active. Thank you so much for your help.
We want the dispatch to continue to be a great part of the week, a brief respite from the noise in our inboxes. I’m not sure if we’ll end up with something nearly identical to what we have now or something else entirely. I only know that it will be uncommon and honor the time and attention you give to it.
Last week’s dispatch asked, Do you have a favorite memory of an impromptu trip?
My favorite impromptu trip was deciding to go snow shoeing in the Cascade Mountains to the East of Seattle early one Autumn morning. Friends had been snow shoeing the day before and they had a full weekend rental which they weren't going to use so we loaded the snow shoes (after a rudimentary lesson), the dog (after absolutely no cajoling) and ourselves for the 50 minute drive to the trail head of I90. Out we climbed into the most beautiful morning and began our tromp. I have this vision of the wind nudging trees ever so gently and the snow flying through the air like diamonds, while my wife and I laughed at Winnie our Golden Retriever / Yellow Lab mix ("pretty girl, not too bright") who took great delight in disappearing into every powdery snow drift she could find. Nothing beats experiencing unbridled joy.
I suppose it is a credit to my good fortune that I can hardly pick just one favorite memory of an impromptu trip. Still, I think the top of the stack must be the one that started at 1:00am when I opened the door of my summer-long Seattle house, nine-tenths asleep and foggy-eyed, to find my girlfriend beaming at me in the moonlight.
This was especially remarkable because I had just talked to her not four hours prior as she dined with her parents in Dallas—or so I thought. In fact she was flying from Austin to Seattle, where I was interning with Amazon.com, to surprise me with a weekend visit. Immeasurable confusion and elation rushed through me at the sight of her in my doorway, thousands of miles from where I knew she was, and my reaction was to give her a long hug.
I modified some existing plans I had with friends to visit Vancouver, British Columbia over that weekend for Canada Day to include her and we had an incredible, life-altering experience glimpsed in a previous dispatch. Her visit then was one of the most surprising and loving acts I have had the joy of receiving and we still enjoy the enrichment it brought to our lives.
How would you improve the dispatch?