The Trouble Tree
Many years ago, a single woman hired a carpenter to help her restore an old farmhouse. His first day did not go very well at all. A flat tire made him late, so he lost an hour pay, his electric saw quit and now that his work for the day was done, and he was ready to go home, his old pickup truck would not start.
The woman felt bad for him so she offered to drive him home. It was a long trip and all the way he sat in stoney silence. When they arrived, he invited her in to meet his family. As they walked toward the front door, the man paused briefly at a small tree, touching the tips of the branches with both his hands.
When he opened the door, he had an amazing transformation. His tanned face was full of smiles and he hugged his two small children and gave his wife a kiss.
After he introduced the woman to the family and he explained to everyone why she brought him home, it was time for her to leave. As he walked her to the car, when they passed the tree, the woman became curious and asked, "Why did you stop and touch the tips of the tree when we were walking up to the front door?"
"Oh, that's my trouble tree," he answered. "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."
Then he glanced at the tree, smiled and said, "Funny thing is, 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."