With winter almost over, I can declare this season’s best buy: a snow pusher. (For those of you living in less-snowy climes, have a look at the photo.)

In previous years we’ve made do with just a shovel. A pusher seemed like a waste of money and space. You only use it after a really heavy snow fall, maybe half a dozen times during the season. The rest of the time it just stands there, taking up lots of space.

For the two staircases from the street to the house, a shovel is the only option – there is no space for anything else. In fact on the lower stairs there’s barely enough space to swing a shovel, and occasionally I imagine sawing down the handrail on one side, to give me more room.

But then there’s also the driveway in front of the garage, and the roof. We clear snow off the roof because of the risk of leaks. When we redid the interior in the extension, we discovered signs of an old water leak from the roof. Apparently the roof (a sheet metal one) is not entirely waterproof. So any time the weather report promises above-zero temperatures, we climb up on the roof and shovel off the snow before it melts and starts leaking into our office/library.

And for both the driveway and the roof, the pusher makes life a LOT easier. Now there’s no more lifting, just pushing. Especially for the roof, where we now just push the snow over the edge. (From the driveway the snow needs to be pushed up into a bank.) It’s not even hard work any more – it just takes a bit of time. I quite enjoy it. Peace and quiet, fresh air, nice view, moderate exercise.