Family Stories



There it was. A bullet in my sink. That’s right, a bullet. We’d been gone all summer and we came home to find a bronze metal bullet standing straight up like a bra cup in my stainless steel sink.


I thought nothing of this. My husband had spent half of his reporting life covering wars and he’d been in and out of the house all summer. After his visits overseas, odd items showed up around our house as a result of covering stories in third world countries. We now had a collection of knives, spears, and weird guns that looked like blunderbusses or something from the colonial era.


He spent a great deal of time reporting on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the wounded families left in their wake. He hung out with soldiers who had recently returned, had a cache of awards and honors and military coins of his own that had been given to him by various generals and commanders in all branches.


So when I walked in and saw the bullet, I shrugged. No big deal. It must have fallen out of his stuff while we’d been away, pulled out during his nightly emptying-the-pockets routine. Over the next few days, as we unpacked and settled back into the house, the subject of the bullet came up.


“Why is there a bullet in our kitchen?” my daughter asked, and I shrugged.


“It must be Dad’s,” I said. “He just got back from Iraq and Afghanistan. Maybe he got it over there.”


“Mom, nice bullet!” my son Mack said to me the next morning, breezing into the kitchen after sleeping until noon.


“The better to keep you in line with,” I joked. He was leaving for college in five days and his absence and truculence was getting on my nerves. He was being mean to me, subconsciously on purpose, to help with the cutting of ties.


“Did you know there is a stray bullet in the kitchen? “ Bob asked me casually one day. And that was when I perked up. The use of the word stray implied that there were more, tamer ones, bullets that stayed in line.


“Yeah, isn’t it yours?”


“Mine? Nope. What would I be doing with a bullet?” he said as if I was accusing him of packing heat.


I then questioned the babysitter, who wasn’t a weapons kind of gal, but she had been keeping an eye on the house and cleaning during our absence.


“Diana,” I said casually. “Any chance you left a bullet lying around?


Her eyes widened in response. “It’s so strange,” she said. “One day that bullet was just here, in the kitchen,” she said solemnly. She couldn’t really pinpoint exactly when it had appeared.


Bob had suggested throwing it out. We probably did need to get rid of the bullet, but no one seemed to want to take responsibility.


Now I was nervous. Who, other than dictators and mobsters, finds bullets in their kitchen? Was this a symbol? A sign? A warning?


We lived in a fairly quiet, white and uptight neighborhood. It’s not exactly drive-by shooting territory, but who knows, maybe the bullet had been shot through a window. Maybe my husband had just ended an affair, my son had made an enemy on the soccer field or perhaps I had cut somebody off in the church parking lot. Goodness gracious there was a lot of talk about road rage these days. Anything was possible.


So here was the thing. There was a bullet….. standing up, in my kitchen.


We talked about the bullet on and off and back and forth, as if none of us wanted to be the one to dispose of it. Maybe, in essence, the bullet worked in reverse as a kind of protection, armor or amulet.


And so the days passed. And the bullet stayed. It moved from the counter up to the window sill. It stood, like some common household appliance, right next to the kitchen timer, as causally as people perch salt and pepper shakers next to each other.


“What if it falls into the garbage disposal and goes off with a bang?” my husband joked with me as he poured milk in his coffee one morning, But still, I felt unable to throw it out. And I didn’t want him to either.


Somehow that bullet was meant to be in our kitchen, I determined. It had become kind of comforting, protective.


“Why is a bullet in the kitchen?” asked my mother in law a week later as she visited from Detroit. She was doing the dishes after dinner and had glanced up at the window sill where it sat pointing skyward like a mini missile silo.


“It’s for good luck,” I answered simply. And she, who is hard of hearing and is becoming more garbled in thought and speech, nodded her head as she scrubbed the pots, as if this was the most normal thing in the world.



  1. Susie

    September 3, 2009 at 1:55 am

    Lee promise if one shows up in your bathroom sink you will call Nancy Drew!

  2. JG

    September 4, 2009 at 6:03 pm

    Lee, may want to consider framing it or placing it in a clear enclosed contraption so it can safely serve as a good luck charm.

  3. Rebecca Weber

    September 5, 2009 at 7:09 am

    DO keep us posted on the bullet! I love a good mystery!

  4. Tina harford

    September 5, 2009 at 5:35 pm

    I love you all and living next door to you was a wonderful experience, but I am glad I have already moved !!!!!!!!!!

  5. Lora Mc

    September 8, 2009 at 8:24 pm

    Thanks for the mention of your sons ‘attitude’ in this story. My only and only child left for college 2 weeks ago and has become a totally different person around me. I’ve struggled hard to let go but he’s been the opposite. After reading ‘subconsciously on purpose’ it gives me hope. Maybe my son is doing the same thing. At least… I want to think that.

  6. Smokie Sizemore

    September 9, 2009 at 4:36 pm

    That bullet is like so many things in the kitchen. Aside from being an unusual culinary object, it does go in the miscellanous category with purses, dustbusters, flip flops and other accoutrements that seem to have no other place to live.

  7. Karen Putz

    September 17, 2009 at 7:07 pm

    That’s unusual– makes me wonder if you have a ghost in your house. 🙂

  8. Doctorset

    November 20, 2009 at 5:28 pm

    This is the welcome page for the Association web site.

  9. Dietroly

    November 21, 2009 at 6:05 am

    This is the welcome page for the Association web site.

  10. safe calorie intake

    January 1, 2010 at 3:55 am

    Not certain if any of your other visitors have asked this…but what sort of theme are you using for your blog? It probably sounds a little weird but I really like the footer’s style.Also is this theme widgetized? I am running a blog too however cannot ever seem to find my “utopian” theme. The one I have now is really close …but I’d perhaps tweak a few things within the footer area to match what I want. Anyways..thanks.

  11. Debera Delfelder

    January 10, 2010 at 9:38 pm

    I agree with the above post. Personally I cannot understand why you would not want to make an effort in this regard anyway. Only the other day, at work we had exactly the same conversation and came to a similar closing

  12. Waltraud Scruggs

    January 13, 2010 at 1:49 am

    Let me start by saying great blog. Im unsure if it has been talked about, but when using Chrome I can never get the whole webpage to load without refreshing alot of times. Could just be my modem. Thanks

  13. Henriette Karpf

    January 19, 2010 at 7:58 pm

    Just by hearing what he’s said in past interviews, in sherdog’s current interview, and in what he’s said repetitively over and over and over again when aasked if he’s going to the UFC. It’s pretty much cut and clear and obvious that he isn’t and probably won’t ever come to the UFC. And anyone who thinks otherwise is just wishfull thinking or in denial.

  14. Lea Pompi

    January 28, 2010 at 7:10 am

    Hi, I browsed your website while searching bing for espresso coffee maker. Your website is really amazing and I love the theme. Just thought would let you know that I have subscribed to your rss feed. Also on a couple of pages I also encountered a 404 error and after refreshing a couple of times was able to view the pages. Thank you

  15. Arron Neault

    January 30, 2010 at 10:38 am

    Although it may sound a bit corny, I really like taking care hearing and whilst I do agree with the above poster and I really hope I do not get shot down for stating this, but I think it is important to take all things in moderation.

  16. Product Reviews

    January 30, 2010 at 6:12 pm

    I am glad that I stumbled upon your site on Bing. I really enjoyed your article. If you are interested in swapping links with each other’s sites, let me know. I’d love to get on each other’s blogrolls. Here is my site:“ rel=”nofollow”>Lose The Back Pain Scam.

  17. Andrew A. Sailer

    February 8, 2010 at 8:04 pm

    Few people realize how comforting it is to have such an open forum for expression that we find in your blog site.

  18. Watch Free Movies

    February 10, 2010 at 2:24 am

    I find this topic to be really something which I think I would never understand. It seems too complicated and very broad for me. I am looking forward for your next post, I will try to get the hang of it!

  19. Synthetic Putting Greens

    February 21, 2010 at 5:29 am

    Great post! I’ll be sure to add a link to this article… Check out my site“ rel=”nofollow”>Synthetic Putting Greens.

  20. Orange County Turf

    February 22, 2010 at 8:06 pm

    I love the post… Check out my synthetic turf site“ rel=”nofollow”>Orange County Turf… keep up the good work.

  21. bathroom fittings

    February 26, 2010 at 2:04 pm

    I was seeking interesting helpful hints for“ rel=”nofollow”>new bathroom suites when I discovered your internet page site via Msn and this excellent webpage grabbed my curiosity.

  22. Alexis Oltman

    March 5, 2010 at 6:33 pm

    It looks that you’ve put a good amount of effort into your article and I want a lot more of these on the World Wide Web these days. I truly got a kick out of your post. I do not have a bunch to to say in reply, I only wanted to register to say marvellous work.

  23. Online Shopping

    March 9, 2010 at 1:00 am

    Your blog is so informative … keep up the good work!!!!

Leave a Reply