The Trouble Tree
The carpenter I hired to help me restore an old
farmhouse, 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 the 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.
Afterwards, 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 for sure, troubles don't belong
in the house with my wife and the children.
So I 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 ain't
nearly as many as I remember hanging up the
Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could all find
our own "Trouble Tree!"