Grateful for a Warm Home

Last week Friday the temperatures dropped and we were reminded that we are in the middle of Winter. Previous to this, we had experienced mild days – so mild that it felt like Spring! Old Man Winter decided to show his true colours and gave us a brutal few days.

Monday began with me stepping out into -33c temperatures and I walked hurriedly to work, bending my head against the icy winds. I did not even take time to enjoy the snow white snow that had fallen on the ground. My only thought was to escape the frigid temperatures and enter a warm building.

As always when it is so cold, my thoughts turn to those who do not have a home to protect themselves from the elements. Since I have moved to Toronto, I have noticed that the number of people living on the street has increased. Reasons for homelessness are cited as being the increasing cost of rental properties in the city, increasing poverty, the de-institutionalisation of mental health care, as well as factors of abuse. I always hope that those in charge of the city would open their hearts and step up for those without a home. I do acknowledge, though, that this is a dream that has not yet become a reality. The homeless are powerless and, as such, do not garner the attention of politicians.

The extreme cold weather has brought to the forefront of my mind how lucky I am to have a warm home that keeps me out of the cold. Not only do I have shelter, but I also have access to a reliable heating system that allows me to be comfortable. This week I am grateful for my home: a shelter that keeps me and my family warm throughout the cold Winter days.

Processed with RookieWhat have you been grateful for this week? Share your comments or the link to your post below.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

Grateful for Shelter

One of the basic human needs is shelter: a place to protect ourselves from the elements, a place to keep warm, a place to call home. During the last two days not only has the temperature dropped dramatically, it has also been wet. Grey clouds have covered our skies, and the wet has been constant. Our weather has reminded us that summer is over and a new season has begun.

As I walked home yesterday I was reflecting on the change of season and how lucky I was to be able to have a place to call home. Each year as the summer surrenders to the cooler weather, I think of the homeless and their daily struggle to find a warm place to rest out of the elements. Each day I unlock the door to my home with relief. A joy that the homeless do not experience.

This week I am grateful to have my home. It may be simple and a little overcrowded but at least I am safe from the outside elements. At least one of my basic needs are being met.

Processed with RookieWhat have you been grateful for this week? Share your comments or the link to your post below.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2018

Grateful for My Home

Saturday was a frenzy of cleaning house and shopping for our meal to celebrate Chinese New Year. My husband did the bulk of the grocery shopping as he went to Chinatown to get the vegetables that he wanted to cook. By the end of the day, I had fulfilled my part of the bargain – our place was spic-and-span. Hubby had started cooking and I sat on the sofa reading while waiting for our son and nephew to arrive for the family dinner.

As I sat on the sofa, I looked out the window and saw that they were doing their work of keeping the chill at bay. I looked at my surroundings and felt a sense of comfort and happiness for what my husband and I had created – a home. A home in which we felt secure. A home in which we felt loved. A home in which the inhabitants felt happy.

This week I am grateful for my home. Not everyone is able to have a pleasant environment in which they can spend their time. I am lucky that I do.

Processed with RookieWhat have you been grateful for this week? Share your comments or the link to your post below.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2018

Grateful for Shelter

As we approach Winter, days are not only getting shorter but they are also getting cooler. The morning air is crisper and it is no longer possible to leave home in short sleeves. Already we have experienced days with icy winds that make us wish for the warmer days of summer. We have a few homeless people who regularly wander the streets of our neighbourhood and I have noticed that they are beginning to layer themselves with more items of clothing than they do during the warmer days. As I step into my apartment building out of the cold and ride the elevator up to my floor, I am grateful that I have shelter and that I have a warm place to sleep.

Processed with RookieWhat have you been grateful for this week?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

(Join me and share something that you have been grateful for in the past week. Link up with my post and feel free to use the badge my daughter created. )

Thank you for last week’s contributions. I enjoy reading what others are grateful for – the posts make me think of other things I am happy to have in my life. Please remember to send me a pingback so that I know you have participated. 

Gratitude Wednesday: Uber Productive Team

Sunday Gratitude

An Attitude of Gratitude

A Gift of Flowers

During this past week I have been enjoying a bunch of flowers that was given to me by one of my students.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2013
A Gift of Flowers. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2013

Their fragrance and beauty has filled the our living area. Every time I look at them, I recall how proudly he gave the bouquet to me. I know that I have certainly enjoyed looking at them.

Do you enjoy receiving cut flowers?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2013


“Home is where the heart is.”

As the years pass, this phrase begins to have more meaning for me. No longer does the word “home” bring to mind bricks and mortar. Instead, the image that comes to me is of the people that create my home with me: my husband and children. Wherever we are, together, that is where I feel the love, joy and security that they have brought into my life. The children’s chatter seem to bind our lives together, creating a sense of belonging and acceptance.

Our home is more than the four walls that surround us. It is more than the chairs we lounge on, or the bric-a-brac that is scattered around the place we live in. Our home travels with us when we go on holiday – whether it is for a weekend or a month. Our home is what we make of it, as people, and cannot be quantified and boxed.

My heart is filled with love: given and received. And because I have this, I have a home.  “Home is where the heart is.” And my home is large indeed.

(This post was inspired by the Five Minute Friday prompt given this week by Lisa-Jo Baker)

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2013

Weekly Photo Challenge: Home

Each year at Christmas time, my children enjoy creating a gingerbread house. They use icing and candies to decorate it, calling to mind the witch’s house in the story of Hansel and Gretel.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2013
Gingerbread House. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2013

When we break off a piece of this house to taste, however, we are not in danger of being captured and eaten by an evil witch! What we are in danger of, though, is being tempted to break off another piece to savour the taste of the gingerbread.

What I enjoy the most of our gingerbread house tradition is the joy my children experience as they work on their creation. And the scent of the gingerbread as it permeates our home.

Do you enjoy making gingerbread houses in your home?

(This post was inspired by the prompt, home, given by the folks at

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2013

The New Year Begins

The past week and a bit have gone by

In a flurry of activity,

A haze of warmth and family,

The companionship of eating together and watching movies


I have savoured each moment as I savoured the morsels we ate:

Love, joy, happiness.

We enclosed ourselves for a while in a capsule of family.

Shopping, walking in the snow, eating at a restaurant.

The bubble contained us and protected us

In our merriment

Of time spent together.

And now it is time to move our separate ways

As we work, go to school, follow our diverse daily routines.

And I carry within my heart the memory of this time;

A memory to look at when life gets too busy and I need a reminder

Of my family’s love and togetherness.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2012

Please Stay


I am enjoying the moment spending time with you. The conversation. The laughter. the camaraderie as we sit around the table. Words flow back and forth without any pause for breath. A topic is spent and we move onto the next with ease and no thought.

Please stay.

It is not often we get to spend time together. To share experiences. To share thoughts and ideas. To share what is happening in our day-to-day lives. It is with interest that we listen to your tales; and with relief that you are managing to stay within the boundaries that we have taught you.


Just a little while longer. So I can enjoy the moment of our family being together. So that I can savour the unity of us, all together, for this moment in time. So that we have a little more to hold in our memories when we lay our heads on our pillows tonight.

Please stay.

(Join me in the Five Minute Friday Challenge hosted by Lisa-Jo Baker. Participants write for 5 minutes with no editing, no over thinking, and no backtracking. This week’s prompt is: Stay)

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2012

Our Need for Shelter

Maslow's hierarchy of needs. Resized, renamed,...
Maslow's hierarchy of needs. Resized, renamed, and cropped version of File:Mazlow's Hierarchy of Needs.svg. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Shelter is one of our basic needs: it is a place that can protect us from the elements, keep us warm and safe, and give us the encouragement to satisfy our other needs. According to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, shelter is one of the requirements for addressing our physiological needs (along with the need  food, water, air, sleep, sex). Maslow represented the human’s physiological needs as the base of a triangle to show that meeting these needs are the most important in our lives. If these needs are not met, the individual may only be able to focus on meeting their physiological needs and not feel motivated to move towards self-actualization.

Luxembourg mansion
Luxembourg mansion (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Man’s shelters, though, come in many different forms depending on a person’s social status or circumstances. The wealthy provide many bedroomed mansions for themselves and their family. The rooms are richly decorated and the spaces within are light, large and airy. The occupants do not worry about running water, or warmth on cold winter days. Everyday they are able to concentrate on other activities besides the daily need to feed themselves, or the worry whether they may lose their shelter at any moment.

A shanty town in Soweto, South Africa.
A shanty town in Soweto, South Africa. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On the other end of the scale are the shacks found in squatter camps and shanty towns: pieces of corrugated iron are placed together to form a shelter that houses a group of people. Running water is unavailable so, even though their need for shelter has been met, the occupants of squatter camps need to concern themselves everyday on where to find water to drink, cook, and wash. Speak to an occupant of one of these shanty towns and you will hear they are concerned, not only of being removed from their space, but also of other occupants in the town coming to steal their meagre possessions.

An apartment building in Paris
An apartment building in Paris (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Many of us live in apartment buildings or in three bedroomed houses. We work to pay the rent or mortgage to ensure that we have a roof over our heads so that we do not have to worry about the elements or losing our space (unless we lose our ability to receive a pay check every month). With our physiological needs having been met, we can then focus on our need for safety, belonging, and self-esteem. Eventually attaining our need for self-actualization.

We often change the shelter in which we live. We leave home once we are of age and set up our own space. We marry and have children, thus requiring a larger space for the added members of our family. There comes a time in our lives when we downsize and no longer need so many rooms and spaces in which to live. But no matter what time in our lives we are, we all search for a shelter to call our own.

What shelter do you currently occupy? Are you looking at changing your shelter soon for another?

(Join Jake every week for a theme for creative inspiration. This week’s prompt is “shelter”)

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2012