I have written in the past about my annual volunteering for Broom Busting.  The cutting down of Scottish Broom bushes that are invasive plants that spreading throughout the Island.

Broombusting is an major physical activity as you use big loppers to cut the bush stalks (normally about 1″  in diameter) at the ground level and drag them to a central spot to be shredded. Far more intensive workout than my normal visit to the gym.

Over the last couple of weeks I have gone out 3 times and come back each day exhausted.

Two events scheduled for this week but a couple of days ago I was assisting the single lady next door pull out some dead bushes and in yanking on the root ball, pulled a muscle in my left arm.  Now it did hurt (and still does) but it meant that I could not attend the two Broom Busting projects yesterday and this morning.  Felt guilty about not participating (but truthfully with a lot less exhaustion)  However I was able to fulfill my guilt feeling by agreeing to sharpen all the loppers for the organization.

These are not the little garden variety loppers, they are the big ones with handles up to 3 feet long.  The  organization has about 70 of these tools although the average group of volunteers that show up each day ranges from 12 to 40 people (apparently the invasion of the Broom is not a shared community threat)  Still the loppers get heavy use and the blades get dull.

I had noticed this late last year and agreed to sharpen some of them which I did.  With my arm issue this week I contacted the head Broombuster and said I would sharpen them.  She delivered the entire inventory today and I spent the afternoon sharpening (I have the tools and the skill) straightening, tightening and repairing the set.  I am good at this.

So unlike the grunt workers that are on the knees cutting and dragging, I will be the skilled member of the group.  The Lopper Sharpener.  I was even named in the public announcement that went out this evening to the members and the local newspaper.

Made me feel less guilty about skipping today’s workout.  Still when I get back from Alberta I will be out there, but I will be recognized as special.