Living on a mountaintop we have several sayings unique to the place we live, each with their own explanation and how to use them in context.
Today's lesson is about location, location, location......
I called a friend to pick something up.
"Hey, can I come by to pick up that nose hair trimmer you borrowed?" (this is fiction folks)
"Sorry," she says, "I'm already off the mountain."
People who don't live on a mountaintop translate this phrase to, "I've taken the horses, fed them, gathered what little belongings I have, packed them up, added a few provisions and made my way through the depths of hell off the mountain." They think Donner Family and everything that goes with it.
Visitors to our beautiful mountain community, understand this phrase to mean, "I've made the drive off the mountain, brakes smoking. I must let my poor little car rest for a few hours at the winery before I blow the engine taking my sweet old time up the mountain again." or, "I'm lost somewhere in the High Country, please help me."
But to me, I totally understand what she means, this is what I hear, "I'm off the mountain after not leaving the mountain for the past few days. I'm here provisioning up, planning on not leaving the mountain again for a few more days. So, I'm not coming back up until I have everything I need and don't have to go back down again."
When someone is "Off the mountain" that means they will not make that quick trip back up (Sure it's under 3 miles but UP) for any reason. Happy Hour is a maybe, but everything else is a definite no. The halfway point for me is the first S turn down, that's the line I draw. "I'm sorry you forgot your phone but we are already off the mountain."
Living up here I totally understand what she means, I reply, "Oh, don't come back up the mountain for me, I'll just get it later. Plus the nose hair is keeping me warm during this spring snow."
We mountain top dwellers take our "going off the mountain" seriously. Each time you head down to the lowlands, you're sacrificing brakes, your ears are popping and god forbid you have nose congestion. Reasons for leaving the mountain have to be serious. Plus we love it up here and don't want to leave!
I've always told my children, "If you're at a friend's house in the lowlands, only call me when I have to take you to the Emergency Room, I'm not bringing your computer to you." or, "Everyone swims in their underwear, yours looks like a bathing suit anyway. You'll be fine." (Translation, No, I'm not coming up the mountain to take you to get your bathing suit, I'm already OFF the mountain.)
Being in a beautiful place makes you not want to leave, why go "off the mountain" when you have wide open views, cooler air and of course friends who "hunker down" with you sharing that last bit of wine when nobody wants to go "off the mountain."
What does it take for you to come back UP the mountain when you are already OFF the mountain?