The answer, my friends, is blowin' in the wind...

Okay, so let's have a show of hands of everyone who honestly (and "honestly" IS the keyword here) felt Superstorm Sandy, prior to her dropping in for tea and crumpets a couple of weeks back, was going to disrupt your lives for up to an entire week? And I mean really, really honest – not the window-dressing version of honest many of us, er, you, employ when you're, let's say, doing taxes.

Sir, I see you have your fingers crossed, and so I'm going to have to disqualify your vote. Sorry. Oh, and just for the record, sir, it was not necessary to show me that your fingers were no longer crossed - particularly THAT finger. Yes, you can put that finger down now, sir. Thank you.

Now that you've been shamed into honesty – I hate it when I have to do that, but you really left me no choice – let me make an itsy-bitsy confession of my own: Up until the moment when I was out in the backyard, wrestling with my lawn furniture, and waiting for the half-dead ash tree to come down on my garage and obliterate everything inside which I held dear (especially me), I paid little attention to the warnings. Sandy who? "Sandy, Shmandy" were my exact words, as I recall.

After all, we were, what...a bazillion miles inland, right? I mean, we've experienced the after-effects of tropical storms and hurricanes before. You know the drill: maybe a little rain, and sure, perhaps a little wind - maybe enough to get the neighbor's kid's kite off the ground for fifteen minutes. Yawn. I mean, is there ever anything really worth getting excited about on the old Doppler around here?

Besides, we're Clevelanders. If we can survive the likes of our professional sports teams, then what's a little weather, for Pete's sake?

But Tuesday morning (a.k.a. "the morning after"), when I awoke to survey the damage Sandy had levied upon my happy home, I was quickly made aware of a different level of carnage – a true horror which bespoke the sheer destructive power of Sandy, of such magnitude that is often incomprehensible to mere mortals – that the Superstorm wielded the night before. My Plain Dealer box had blown away! With my paper! (That's like, what, double jeopardy?)

Don't know what kept me from calling 9-1-1; have never been under that kind of pressure or stress before. I mean, what does one do? Go door-to-door at 5:30 in the morning, asking neighbors to stop bailing out their basements for a few minutes to help me find my PD box (and paper)? But I knew I couldn't put my needs first like that. I had to be strong.

So reached back for that "something extra" and I looked, and looked, but to no avail. For three solid days, my PD was delivered - make that plopped - on my sidewalk. My extremely wet sidewalk. I was depressed, to depths of which I'd never been subjected. Life, itself, had been rendered bogus.

And then, just like that, on Thursday, I came home from work to see my PD box in the center of my front lawn. My wife thinks a neighbor found it, realized it was mine, and returned it. I think it was much, much more. Perhaps it's a little early in the season, but I'm pretty darn certain I know what it was.

A Christmas Miracle.

Jeff Bing

Lifelong Westlake resident who dabbles in writing whenever the real world permits.

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Volume 4, Issue 23, Posted 9:21 AM, 11.13.2012