Dear Sidney – 09/07/2023

Sep 7, 2023 | 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 1930s 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.

Bertha in Crestline


Dear Bertha,

Welcome to the mountains!

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 down the hill and back up. That seems to work.

A flatlander is a person from a lower elevation who finds it a thrill to visit or 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 a 4WD Subaru, correct? Be mindful of the rule to shovel out your berm to your right while facing the street. No dumping your snow in the road, please.

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. A bundle of kindling makes for a free fire starter.

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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