Dear Sidney

Dec 22, 2022 | Dear Sidney

Dear Sidney,

I really need some advice! I recently moved to Crestline from Southern Sacramento. I am a 70-year-old woman and I bought an old 1930’s cabin by the lake, which I love!
I have spent a few winters up here, but my neighbors still call me a mean name, “flatlander.”
How long do I have to live here before I am no longer a flatlander? And why is the word flatlander such a negative thing? My neighbor wrinkles his nose in disgust when he calls me that, like I stink or something. What the hell?

Bertha in Crestline

Dear Bertha,

Welcome to the mountains! I do hope that your cabin has no stairs, because 70 years old is when everything begins to fall apart. I know this from personal experience.
You’ve come from a flatland that is approximately 30 feet above sea level. Crestline sits at 4,613 feet. I do hope that your ears have unclogged. If not, do try swallowing or yawning. A good friend of mine chews gum when driving DTH and back up. That seems to work. (Oh, my bad. DTH stands for down the hill.)
A flatlander is a person from a lower elevation who finds it a thrill to visit, or worse, move into high elevations and destroy the culture. Use of the term is definitely an insult, mostly reserved for rude and destructive tourists; however, sticks and stones may break your bones, but names will never hurt you. What will hurt you are more sneers from neighbors when you put your trashcans out too early or leave them out for days . . .with no locked tops on them or none at all! There are hungry bears out there.
Practice putting your chains on in the driveway to show your neighbor just what a maverick you’ve become! You do have an AWD Subaru, correct? Hang out at the Bear Claw patio with the ole slednecks and slug down a few bourbons with your dog. You do have a dog, don’t you? (My bad. Sledneck is urban slang for a redneck living at a high altitude where there’s loads of snow to play in, ride on and shovel.) Be mindful of the rule to shovel out your hard morning berm to your right while facing the street. No dumping your snow in the road, please.
Get your karaoke on at the Bear House in Top Town and belt out only country western favorites. Dolly Parton is still relevant. Hang the stars and stripes from your front porch. Collect kindling from along the road, saw it to fit your fireplace and wrap it in hemp string. (Oh, my bad. The definition of kindling is those loose, lovely twigs that fall from the big trees.) A bundle of kindling makes for a free fire starter. Do this outside so the redneck can watch you toil in 40 degrees with no sunshine.
Hoping these suggestions will help you become the Mountain Mama I know you will be. Oh, and don’t forget to join the seniors on Thursdays for bowling at Rim Lanes.


Send your questions for Sidney to [email protected] or by snail mail to Dear Sidney, The Alpine Mountaineer, P.O. Box 4572, Crestline, CA 92325.
This advice is intended for entertainment purposes only. No animals were harmed in the writing of this column.


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