The Trouble Tree

A friend sent this story to me and I thought some of you would enjoy it as I did.

With Love,

I hired a plumber to help me restore an old farmhouse, and after he had
just finished a rough first day on the job: a flat tire made him lose an
hour of work, his electric drill quit and his ancient one ton 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

When opening the door he underwent an amazing transformation. His 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

‘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, those 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 and ask God to take care of
them. 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 the night before.’

About russtowne

My wife and I have been married since 1979. We have 3 adult children and 4 young grandsons. I manage a wealth management firm I founded in 2003. My Beloved is a Special Education teacher for Kindergartners and First Graders. I'm a published author of 23 books in a variety of genres for grownups and children. In addition to my family, friends, investing, and writing, my passions include reading, watching classic movies, experiencing waves crashing on rocky shores, hiking in ancient redwood forests, and enjoying our small redwood grove and fern garden.
This entry was posted in Adversity, Choices, Family, Grace, Marriage, Stories That Touched Me, Traditions & Rituals and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

22 Responses to The Trouble Tree

  1. Mrs. P says:

    That was a great story, Russ. It is very admirable what this man does. If everyone did this before they walked in to the house, the world would be a better place.

  2. bulldog says:

    This is just such a great share.. Russ thank you… a brilliant concept..

  3. utesmile says:

    What a great idea, he is right, troubles never look as bad in the morning as in the evening. We should go to sleep after unloading our troubles. The tree is a brilliant idea! Thanks for sharing!

  4. lvsrao says:

    Great Post. An excellent advise to mankind to have peaceful routine.
    Well of you.

  5. Absolutely LOVE this Russ, and Lord knows here in NH I have plenty of trees around that I can use! 🙂

  6. kmabarrett says:

    I have GOT to try this!

    • russtowne says:

      Isn’t it amazing how something so easy and simple can have such profound effects on lives?

      • kmabarrett says:

        Hi Russ,
        Actually, I have a hat I wear to work every day. I only wear it to work. I got it when I went out on an overnight drive with my son. Didn’t mean to go anywhere. We just got in the car and started driving north. We made it to Oregon and visited Crater Lake, where we picked up matching hats. Anyway, every workday since then I’ve worn the hat to work. It reminds me of that special time with just him and me, alone on the open road.
        Anyway, when I take that hat off, I feel like my workday is done. I’m home. It reminds me of the tree, but the tree is outside. Somehow, that seems more appropriate…
        Maybe, I just need to take the hat off before I enter the door instead of after.

        • russtowne says:

          Thank you for sharing that cool story. I can see how that could work too.

          • kmabarrett says:

            They grow up so fast! I try to hold on to our shared moments as long as I can…

            • russtowne says:

              I know what you mean. My middle son is a Captain in the Air Force and is stationed in Illinois. He and his wife recently gave twin grandsons to us. We got to see him for a few days through this morning, and I will be flying to see he and his family for a week very soon. Still, it saddens me as to how much time there is between visits even when everyone visits each other often.


  7. bulldoglinda says:

    What a lovely heartfelt story Russ,thanks for sharing.

  8. Oh Russ, this is such a great story! I have a lovely tree in the front of my house ~ I think we’re going to become great friends! 🙂

  9. Pingback: A Trouble Solution | Misifusa's Blog

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