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 the family. As we walked toward the
front door, he paused briefly at a small tree, touching the tips of
the branches with both hands.
After opening the door, he underwent an amazing transformation. His
face was wreathed in smiles, and he hugged his two small children
and then gave his wife a kiss.
Afterward, he walked me to my car. We passed the tree, and my
curiosity got the better of me. I asked him about what I had seen him do
"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 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 them up, there aren't nearly as many as I remember hanging
up the night before."