— EDITOR’S NOTE: Life Behind the Pine Curtain is a series of anecdotes collected and edited by Herald-Press Publisher Gary Connor.
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 hands.
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 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. 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.”
Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we are here we might as well dance. We all need a tree.