The other day we were home for the day and relaxing a little before going to bed when the phone rang. It was Sisters Brown & Pastores over in zone 2 and they were frantic.
"Our kitchen sink is overflowing! What should we do?"
"Well, first you need to turn the water off," I calmly replied.
"No, no. The water is off. It's coming up through the drain!"
"And now it's flowing over the front of the cabinets like Niagara Falls," I said, taking it to the logical conclusion.
"Yes, and it's hot. What should we do?"
"Wait, did I understand you to say that the water is hot?"
"Yes. What should we do?"
"Okay, here's what you do. Get all of your stuff off the floor. Then call the building supervisor and get ready to leave. Then call me back and tell me what the super said and I'll tell you where you are going."
"Thank you so much, Elder Shaw. We knew that you would know just what to do. You really are the greatest," They gushed.
Okay, I will admit that I made up that last part, but I am sure that is what they were thinking. Meanwhile, I am thinking, "What on earth would cause hot water to come up the drain pipe into their kitchen sink? Maybe a bathtub upstairs being drained and there is a plug in the drain downstream from where the two pipes come together."
I couldn't spend too much time pondering this curiosity. I had to find somewhere to put a pair of homeless sisters. Looking at the MAG (mission at a glance) I concluded that the best place for them was with the sisters over on Ozone Avenue in Cedar Grove. I then called the zone leaders. No answer. I then called the mission office person in charge of apartment paperwork. No answer. Well, that leaves me in complete charge.
The phone rang and it was my mermaid sisters who told me the water was still flowing and there was a lot of steam because the water was hot. They also said they had been able to reach the supervisor who said he would be over in the morning to take a look at it. What!?! I guess after hurricane Sandy the thought of an apartment full of water to ceiling doesn't bother these people. I said, "That's it. Load up what you need and head over to stay at least tonight with Sisters Taylor and Harvey."
At least the Ozone apartment is still in zone 2. I knew why they were so agreeable with this plan. They were thinking, "Hot dog! A slumber party!"
A few minutes later they called again to say the fire department and police had arrived. It seems that their apartment was not the only one being flooded and someone had called 911. They said that so far, the fire department had no idea what to do. I responded, "Go to Ozone!"
A couple of days later we visited with Sisters Brown & Pastores at the NJMM Christmas conference. They said they had only stayed one night over on Ozone and that they had been told the problem had been a clogged pipe but that no one had explained why there had been so much hot water. Their apartment is drying out but the mission supplied carpet is a total loss, which is okay since storage is overflowing with excess everything, including excess carpet. The sisters tossed the water logged and stinking carpet into the apartment dumpster. I guess I wasn't too surprised to hear that. We have some tough sisters in the NJMM. Now all we have to do is haul a carpet from storage over there. Maybe next week.
This is just one example of the calls for help we receive. Others have included the following:
"Our heater is not working and we are freezing."
"Our air conditioner is not working and we are cooking."
"We have bed bugs. Please help us."
"We have roaches. Please help us."
"The trunk on our car won't close."
"Our dryer has stopped working."
"We have a leak under the sink."
First snow out our front window.
First snow out our kitchen window.
David Shaw took this shot of New York City late one evening as we were returning from a day in The City. It looks better from New Jersey than when you are over there.