The Trouble Tree
The carpenter I hired to help me restore an old farmhouse had just finished a rough day on the job. A flat tire made him lose an hour of work. His electric saw quit, and now his ancient pickup truck refused to start.... While I drove him home, he sat in stony silence. On arriving, he invited me in to meet his family. As we walked toward the front door, he paused briefly at a tall tree, touching tips of the branches with both hands. When opening the door, he underwent an amazing transformation. His tanned face was wreathed with smiles and he hugged his two small children and gave his wife a kiss.
Afterward he walked me to the car. We passed the tree and my curiosity got the better of me. I asked him about what I had seen him do earlier. "Oh, that's my trouble tree" he replied. "I know that I can't help having troubles on the job, but one thing's for sure. Troubles don't belong in the house with my wife and children. So I just hang them up on the tree every night when I get home. Then in the morning I pick them up again. "Funny thing is," he smiled, "when I come out in the morning to pick 'em up, there ain't nearly as many as I remember hanging up the night before."