“I have learned that if you must leave a place that you have lived in and loved and where all your yesteryears are buried deep, leave it any way except a slow way, leave it the fastest way you can. Never turn back and never believe that an hour you remember is a better hour because it is dead. Passed years seem safe ones, vanquished ones, while the future lives in a cloud, formidable from a distance.”
Beryl Markham, West with the Night

Someday I will tell you all about the unbelievable, difficult, ride this little family has been on since we returned from South America.


I have a lot of sorting it out in my own head and heart to do before I could possibly put it in print to share, and it’s not what I’m talking about Today.

Today I am saying goodbye to a place I have lived in and loved and where my yesteryears of babies and mountains and friendships to rival the truest friendships of the best stories of all time are buried deep into the very sinews of my heart.

And I am doing it the fastest way. Yesterday I was hired, tomorrow morning I start, so Today…

Today I leave.

Today I leave knowing, thanks in large part to South America, that no past was ever as perfect as leaving makes it seem and no future is as formidable as uncertainty colors it.

That said, my past here in Crested Butte will always be an imperfect imprint of Pure Beauty that I carry everywhere. A tattoo of ridges and rivers and aspens and snow. An echo of post office greetings and sun-warmed smiles. A peace with Winter I never imagined I’d make and a love of sky that has taken root in the very cells of my skin.

And my future is formidable, but in an exciting, energizing way. I get to teach again, and I get to teach children from families who often don’t speak English first and whose stories contain elements of finding foreign all around them. I get to be the teacher I wanted my boys to have in Ecuador. I get to live another dream.  But all of that is for tomorrow.

Today is driving with Paradise Divide in my rear view mirror and the Denver skyline up ahead. While I’m learning the ropes at my new job Bo and the boys will be packing and finishing up their time in Crested Butte to join me at our next home in a couple weeks. Given how far we’ve traveled from this valley in the past, Denver seems merely down the street. And, essentially, it is. We will see our loved ones here again, and been told they will see us there as well.

This is a good-bye, yes, but only for


Categories: From Jamie | 16 Comments

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16 thoughts on “Today

  1. Beautifully expressed. A new adventure awaits – how exciting for all of you. You will love Denver and all it has to offer. Please let me know how to reach you –

    • Hi Paula! I’ll send you my number so we can connect, I’d love that! It’s going to be a big year for you too, new grandma! 🙂 So excited for everyone!

  2. Kathryn Ross

    Jamie, tell me more! Denver has treated me well over these last years, so I welcome you to the citified part of Colorado and look forward to having more family near-by. For someone raised in the mountains, in some ways this is a bit foreign, so you should feel right at home!

    • Sylvia Morrison

      Dear Jamie,

      I didn’t know how quickly it was all working out in your life. I know you will love Denver and all it has to offer – have you found a house? Let us know right away what your new address will be. Are you staying with the Batugs? They are such a great group and Catherine being close will be so nice for all of you. I am going to Denver tomorrow for my 6 month arthritis check-up and then joining friends in Blackhawk for a fun three day adventure. Keep well and happy on your new adventure. Love – Grandma Jody

      • Hi Grandma! I happened quickly for sure. I am at the Batugs, thank God for them! Our apartment in Stapleton isn’t open until the end of the month, although we’re going to see if we can do anything about that since I’m up here working right now. Love you!

    • I can’t tell you how happy I am to hear that Denver has been good to you Kathryn! Coming from similar mountain homes, that was music to my ears. I’m teaching for the Mapleton School District, 7-8th grade, an at-risk population and I am so excited about the work. Having family nearby definitely makes the driving away part this morning a bit more manageable. Love you. Jamie

  3. Jacy

    Welcome back to Denver, Jamie! This was a beautiful expression of your life right now. Not sure what part of Denver you’ll be in, we’re still in Westminster, Broomfield. Would love to reconnect sometime and hear of your last year’s adventures. You have done amazing things and I’m always interested in your adventures. Safe travels and hope this new adventures brings much happiness to you and your family. Jacy

    • Jacy! I would love to connect with you all! We’re renting in Stapleton for awhile, seemed to make the most sense to do something temporary until we know the city better. Hoping to see you soon!

  4. Hi Jamie! I’m glad to see that you are all settling back into life in the U.S. even if it hasn’t been as smooth as you hoped. I can only imagine what a shock it would be for me to return at this point. Good luck in Denver – I hope that it is the perfect new place for your family and I can’t wait to hear about your adventures there!

    • Thanks Wendy, I love following your family’s adventures in Cotacachi- and Panama looked amazing! Good ideas for the next trip. 🙂 I think Denver will be a huge and ultimately Really good move for us. On a lot of levels, not the least of which is that we are now spitting distance to an international airport… 😉

  5. Diana Scherr

    Hello Jamie – and Bo and boys! It made my day to see a new post pop up in my mailbox this morning – thank you for sharing REAL life, hopes, and fears. I was just talking about you Friday – as I’m planning a trip with a girlfriend to Crested Butte in September and told her I MUST make time to see you all. Sooooo – now I know I must make time when I’m down in Denver. Am proud of you for embracing the change ahead – and yes, I am sure that South America has helped in that department! Thank you for continuing the blog – your words dance and pause, leap and burrow – whatever the case, it always feels like I’m right there with you and it is appreciated. Please share new contact info – would love to see you in THIS country!! Abrazos, Diana (& Matt & kids)

    • I CANNOT BELIEVE I AM MISSING YOU IN CB BY JUST A FEW WEEKS! Nuts! Please do look us up in Denver, or maybe we’ll come track you down when we need a closer ski break this winter. 🙂 Think you of you so often and would love a real sit down to catch up. Abrazos Tambien, Jamie

  6. cricket farrington

    I will truly miss you

  7. Mickie Bragalone

    Good Luck Stambaughs! Look forward to hearing about your new adventures.

  8. Dear Jamie,

    I discovered your blog through and found out that you recently returned to Colorado. I’m and expat also mentioned on their website, and I’d like to know more about your travels
    in Ecuador. As I’m interested in starting my own blog, I’ll be checking yours and those of other expats.

    Good luck to you and your family in Denver.

    Best regards,

  9. Jamie, I wish you well in your new teaching position. Deep condolences for your loss. . . Would it help to talk about God? God willing Bo is in a better place.

    I don´t have much experience with depression, although there are 1 or 2 people close to me that suffer from this. How to keep them from choosing the dark side?

    This past weekend we experienced a relious retreat with talks from a priest named Padre Angel Espinosa. He has some videos on youtube (pirated because he did not authorize) talking about family, marriage, life´s issues but all in spanish.

    When you feel up to it maybe check them out. I´m sure your spanish is good. He had also suffered early losses (parents dying young) that maybe pushed him to talk about what he does.

    Un abrazo from an Expat in Ecuador.

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