Sam’s phone rang at 4:30 A.M. Robin nudged him awake saying “Who in the world is calling at this hour?”
Sam quickly got out of bed fumbling for the phone that was plugged into the charger on their dresser. “Hello?”
His eyes wouldn’t focus properly and the number didn’t look familiar. When he answered the connection was distorted with static “Hi, you left a message on my phone about the property I have for sale up Jaykee Creek in Idaho.”
“I am sorry I think you have the wrong number. Do you know what time it is?”
“I am sure this is the number that called me and about a week ago. Are you sure you never called me about the property out Jaykee Creek?” the voice was crackling and hard to understand. Sam strained to listen to what the caller was asking.
Oh, yes! Okay, Yeah, I called and left you a message a couple of weeks ago. How many acres is that piece of property and what all can you tell me about it?” Sam replied sitting on the edge of the bed.
“I am sorry, I apologize for not calling you sooner. There is no cell phone reception where we live and I only get my messages when I come into town. It is easier for me to communicate via email. My wife and I are missionaries currently teaching English to students in a small village in China.” His voice sounded distant, there was a delay in the response as though he truly was a world away, and definitely not in the same economy.
“It was my uncle’s place and he passed away last year leaving it to me. I have only been there once when I was little. The property is close to twenty acres but I think most of it is hillside and sagebrush.”
“Yeah, I have walked it and it is rocky and steep. What did you want for it?”
“I am not sure what property values are in Idaho for a sagebrush hillside. We were thinking about fifteen thousand?”
Sam asked him if it had been surveyed recently and the young man on the phone said that he wasn’t sure if it ever had been and Sam would need to look into that to be certain. They exchanged email addresses and contact information and Sam told him that he would get back to him one way or the other.
The caller on the other line said “If I don’t answer the phone please leave a message. Our daughter has been sick and is in the hospital. The bills are piling up and we need to pay them or she will not get the medical attention she needs. I promise I will call you back if you leave a message.”
Robin was lying in bed with her black glasses on looking at her phone but listening to Sam’s side of the conversation. When he was finished he relayed the other half of the conversation to her. She listened quietly and when he finished said “What are you thinking?”
Sam explained, “That is a screaming deal for the property, honey. I feel bad for them. Having a little one in the hospital right now and not having enough money. I am telling you there was desperation in his voice.”
Robin had a huge heart for anyone that needed help. It was a gift that God had blessed her with. She always seemed to have something to give to someone when needs arose. She had recognized Sam’s giving heart as well which softened her heart towards him. Various groups at Broken Lives gathered after meetings and had always asked her to join them, one time towards the end of the class she decided to concede and meet with the group. She had also overheard someone invite Sam and heard him respond that he would attend. As she parked at the restaurant she saw Sam had arrived before him. On that particular evening a relentless storm of rain-snow mix was passing though, it was the kind that soaked and chilled a person to the bone. There was a homeless man in front of the restaurant trying to find refuge from the storm standing under an awning. The restaurant owner was yelling at him ordering him to leave. The Broken Lives group rushed by the chilled man trying to get out of the weather without so much as a glance. Robin moved her focus to Sam as he got out of his truck. He had a dog in the front seat and before leaving his truck Sam had quite the conversation with the dog, somewhat apologetically he closed the door, leaving the dog inside. It made her laugh out loud which surprised her. When he passed the homeless man he nodded at him and slowed as he passed the owner who was still yelling at him. Sam turned around, took off his Carhardt jacket and gave it to the man and then walked him back to the truck in the pouring rain and slush. Going back to the driver’s side Sam started his truck and together they drove off. She later asked him why he never made it to the restaurant the week before but Sam didn’t say much about it. “Oh, a friend needed a ride home and I didn’t want to eat any pie any way.”
The phone call from China woke Sam enough that he knew he wouldn’t go back to sleep. He went to the sink and brushed his teeth then stepped into the shower, still thinking about the conversation with the teacher from China. The hot water felt good on his back.
Steam was rolling out from the shower and he asked Robin “Do you want to go out to Jaykee Creek and look at the property again? Maybe Aaron could come along with us and see if we could find some corner pins.”
“Why don’t you and Aaron go look at that sage infested hill side and I’ll stay home and fix you both a nice dinner.” Robin could tell by the tone in his voice that he was interested in the land. Her thick black glasses were fogging up. She took them off, along with her pajamas and stepped into the hot shower.
It was a very good shower.