So: here's what happened. You may recall that on December 21st or 22nd, my pocketbook disappeared, with all my worldly goods: credit cards, iPhone, drivers license, money, etc. etc. I took all the necessary steps to avoid identity theft, and went off to Maine for Christmas.

Yesterday morning, back here in Cambridge, January 3rd—let me count; that's 13 days later—some workmen working on a house about two blocks away found my purse flung into a snowbank in a back yard, its contents strewn about. They gathered everything, gave it to the local mailman who was passing by, and he brought it to me.

In those 13 days it had snowed, rained, frozen, snowed and rained some more, and for the past two days it has been in the teens here. VERY cold. So my purse and its contents—which had clearly been in that snowbank all those days— were all frozen solid and I set about trying to restore and revive what I could. The money was gone: about $200. Goodbye, money. But everything else was there. A pair of leather gloves were too badly damaged and I threw them away. All the credit cards, library cards, drivers license, etc, were sort of frozen together in disgusting clumps but after they thawed, I was able to dry each one and of course, being plastic, they were fine (though I shredded and tossed all the cards I had cancelled and replaced). Grocery lists and receipts and a bank deposit slip, upon melting and thawing, turned into soggy spitballs and I threw those all away.

That left the iPhone, which was frozen solid into its leather case. After resting a while on my kitchen counter, the leather thawed and now the iPhone was lying in wet leather surrounded by a puddle. I took it out and let it rest until it seemed to be room temperature.

At one point, early on, when I first missed the purse, I had called my iPhone number, hoping I would hear a ring from some obscure place. Didn't happen. I got my own voice mail and wailed, "Where are you?" but needless to say there was never a reply.

Now, after it warmed up, I put it into the charger, charged it, turned it on, and it spit up 50+ emails from the past 13 days, and my own voice saying plaintively, "Where are you?"