Sometimes, however, mysteries are based on fact. I found myself facing just such a mystery a few weeks ago.

In the days, and even weeks, leading up to the announcement that the Courier-Post’s press would be silenced and our printing would be done in Columbia, I found myself fielding an assortment of questions regarding the newspaper.

Public: “What’s going on?”

Me: “A change of printing locations.”

Public: “Are you guys closing?”

Me: “Nope.”

Public: “Is everyone moving to Columbia?”

Me: “Nope.”

Such is life when the rumor mill begins to churn out theories based on shreds of facts, or zero facts. Often baseless rumors are the groundwork of compelling mysteries.

Sometimes, however, mysteries are based on fact. I found myself facing just such a mystery a few weeks ago.

A few years ago a “prayer plant” found its way into the Courier-Post newsroom. I believe it might have been a plant that was left over from a funeral for a family member of a Courier-Post staffer. But considering how long ago the plant appeared, and the fact that by 4 p.m. on most days I have trouble remembering what I had for breakfast that morning, this part of my mystery’s back story is more than a bit fuzzy.

What I do remember clearly is the fact the plant did not have a designated caregiver. And considering I was not born with a green thumb, or any other digits that fall somewhere on the visible spectrum between yellow and blue, I was an unlikely person to assume such a responsibility. However, I guess because it wound up on my side of the newsroom, and I couldn’t stand to see it wither for lack of something as basic as water, I began meeting its essential needs.

It soon became apparent that just as man does not live by bread alone, neither does a prayer plant survive on solely water. And as more of its green leaves began to brown, I racked my brain regarding what more this plant, or any plant, might need. Then it became as apparent as the little light bulb that flickered on above my head what the plant might require – more light.

While the newsroom has a handful of windows, the corner of the room where my desk was located had zero panes of glass through which life-giving light could enter.

Following a building-wide search, I selected a table in the mail room as the plant’s new “home.” With its large windows and southern exposure, it received lots and lots of light, which seemed to please the plant, which showed its satisfaction by putting on a handful of white flowers periodically.

Aside from an occasional dose of plant food, which my wife, Nancy, helped administer, and the periodic trimming of dead leaves, all I had to do was remember to water it, which I incorporated into my Friday routine.

Despite being located along one of the building’s busiest thoroughfares, I think most people paid it no attention. Only once did a well-meaning soul, who noted its brown leaves, throw it out. However, after a few minutes of dumpster diving the plant was back on its perch where it stood until recently.

After taking a few days off, I returned to find the plant thirsty, but in otherwise good condition, which was confirmed by a flower of two. However, the very next day it was gone. Only the blue, metal watering can someone had donated was still present.

Immediately fearing the worst, I hustled to the dumpster and peeked inside, ready to go diving again. No plant.

I looked through the rest of the mail room, but didn’t find so much as a single brown leaf.

My hope is that a member of the departing mail-room crew took it as a parting gift, has given it a window seat in their home and is now enjoying it.

I’ll probably never know its fate and will simply have to chalk it up to one of life’s less-than-great mysteries.

The views expressed in this column are not necessarily those of the Courier-Post.