By ANDREW LEIBENGUTH

aleibenguth@tnonline.com

Our world is becoming more and more dependent on portable electronics. So when you lose or misplace one of them, your life can be turned upside down.

Here is a quick personal story relating to the loss of my cell phone...

One rainy morning last month, just after 5 a.m., I arrived at work at the Times News office in Tamaqua. Around 10 a.m., after submitting my work for the day, I looked down to see the absence of my cell phone. After about 30 minutes of looking for it in the office and my car, I thought of other places I might have left it.

Recalling taking photos of the bridge construction in Tamaqua prior to arriving at work, I went to the construction site again and looked to see if I dropped it or if anyone had picked it up. No luck.

I thought maybe someone turned it in. I then called the police station and cell phone provider. No luck.

After about two more hours of searching for my cell phone at my house, my car and at work, I was going to give up. Knowing that another cell phone would cost me $100 via the insurance, I continued my quest to find it.

I then decided to stop at the Community Center to see if any members of the Senior Citizens Group had found it, as they were currently having their weekly meeting at the center. No one did.

As I was leaving the center, two of the members mentioned that a street cleaner came through a few hours prior.

With nowhere else to turn, I went to the borough garage and just happened to meet up with the person who was driving street cleaner as he was getting into his car to go somewhere. He said he did run the street cleaner by the community center; although he didn't pick up or recall seeing a cell phone. Just in case, I asked him if I would be able to look in the street cleaner for my cell phone. He said he had already dumped the dirt at the dump site in the Dutch Hill section of Tamaqua.

Even though I knew it was slim to none that I had even dropped the phone or that he did sweep it up with the street cleaner, I still drove up to the dump site to look for my phone.

After searching multiple piles of wet debris and dirt for my cell phone, I was getting ready to leave. When all of a sudden... I heard the awesome sound of a ringtone while standinding directly in front of a dirt pile.

Not believing what I was hearing, I patted my clothes to see if it was in my pockets or such. No luck. After about two more rings, I quickly dug through the pile of wet dirt and mud in front of me and discovered my working cell phone.

The caller was a friend of mine telling about a vehicle accident.

Prior to losing my cell phone, I purchased a tough case on my cell phone. The case must have helped protect my phone from the rain, dirt and journey through the jaws of a street cleaner.

What a great feeling...