It's not easy keeping an old monastery in top top shape, especially not in the frigid weather we've been having. Today one of our sisters had, as she calls it, an "adventure" due to some temperamental machinery. We have a "mini-vator" that allows sisters who need it to access the basement level without having to use the stairs. One unfortunate feature is that it is actually on the cloister, enclosed only by screens on the first floor. Today said sister was travelling between floors when the mini-vator abruptly stopped working. Try as she might she could go neither up nor down. Luckily there is a phone installed in the mini-vator for just such emergencies and sister was able to use the phone to call us for help. (Being outside, no amount of shouting would have reached us.) We promptly called our handy-man....whose voicemail box was full, so we couldn't leave a message! No worries, Sr. Mary Magdalene has a reputation around here for her strength and facility with all things mechanical. Sister quickly pulled the cover off, picked up the turning stick, climbed a ladder and began working to get sister to one floor or the other. Don't be fooled by sister's lightweight jacket (the first thing she grabbed), it was very cold out for New Jersey with a windchill of -6!
Alas, despite her best efforts our trapped sister remained trapped. There was nothing to do but call for professional help.
Once our wonderful local firemen arrived, Sr. Mary Magdalene explained the technicalities of working the manual turner and the firemen took turns on the ladder raising the mini-vator to floor level. Thankfully they were successful and our sister was freed from her temporary prison! She was greeted with a steamy cup of hot chocolate prepared by thoughtful sister.
Not surprisingly, this is not the first time a sister has been trapped in the mini-vator. Nor the first that the firemen were needed to rescue them. Let's hope, though, that it was the last!
Thank you, Summit Fire Department!