Photo by Dan Gold on Unsplash

By Monica Brancheau

When I begin to feel that breeze become crispy, see the leaves dancing through the sky on their descent to the ground, and smell the earth beginning to go to sleep, I get a tingle of excitement. I know this is not the normal reaction to “Winter is Coming.” Many leave as soon they can to bask in the sunny warmth of a tropical destination. Many plan numerous vacations during these upcoming months so they can avoid as much of this weather as they possibly can. I, on the other hand, relish this time; here are some reasons why:

  1. I REALLY like wearing leggings, long sweaters, chunky scarves, and boots. This is the time when my large boxes of winter clothes come out so I can perform the bi-yearly ritual: “the closet swap.” It’s like my birthday and Christmas combined when I pull out clothes that I have completely forgotten about. I will exclaim out loud, “I missed you so much, fuzzy sweater!” as if it was my long lost friend.  
  2. I don’t have to spend hours every day taking care of my garden. I live on two acres and I love it, but it’s a TON of work. I definitely am not a farmer, so by October, I’ve basically maxed out on weeding, watering flowers, and taking care of the lawn. Perfect timing, because now I don’t have to.
  3. Time to get my BAKE on. I love baking. There is something so satisfying about making breads, pies, and cookies—being there to smell those heavenly smells, and not have to sweat out of your house because your oven has been on all day.
  4. I get more sleep. Something about it being dark starting at around 6pm makes my internal clock think I need to go to bed sooner. I fought sleep for so many years, but I now selfishly choose sleep above just about everything else.
  5. My favorite holidays are around the corner! I love Thanksgiving and Christmas. The traditions, the food, the family time…basically all of it. Transforming my house from its everyday décor to making my house look like a little Christmas puked all over it is definitely living my best life.
  6. Let the binge-watching begin! I always think I will have SO much time in the summer, and then before I know it, summer is over and I think to myself, “What just happened?” I have not seen any friends, I haven’t gone downtown enough, AND I haven’t binge-watched at all. The winter months are the best binge-watching months. There is no guilt associated with watching five episodes in a row when it’s cold and gray outside. It’s the best way to spend winter time.

Although I love the anticipation of the colder months and relish it in the beginning, I’m not going to lie that by February, I am DONE and wishing winter away every day. And that is when I take my vacation to a warm place so I can then begin to get excited about spring. 

Monica Brancheau


A woman who has had multiple careers, mom of four and passion for dance, Monica Brancheau is a Michigan native and graduate of the University of Michigan who then never left Ann Arbor.  She has decades of experience in working with children’s issues from education to non-profit work in teaching in urban settings, non-profit management, marketing and fundraising. She is currently the Director of Ele’s Place Ann Arbor.  When not working you can find her gardening, reading, writing, listening to music, and spending time with her treasured family.