I hired a carpenter to help me restore an old farmhouse,
and he had just finished a rough first 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 small tree, touching
tips of the branches with both hands.
When opening the door, he underwent an amazing transformation.
His tanned face was wreathed in 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 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 the children. So I just hang them up on the tree
every night when I come 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 aren't nearly as many as I
remember hanging up.