Transitions-Oakville, Burlington and Mississauga Real Estate Blog: A Story About a House, a Ring and Love.

Real Estate blog about property, home buying and selling, life in Burlington, Oakville and Mississauga Regions of Ontario, Canada.

A Story About a House, a Ring and Love.

Today was the first day of my writer's class. I'm registered to take it every Tuesday for two hours in the early afternoon and I believe it will greatly help me to be a better business writer and a better marketing expert for my clients.

We had a very interesting class today.
We were each asked to write down a fortune (the kind you would find in a fortune cookie) of some kind on a piece of paper and then put it in a hat.
Afterwards Brian, our teacher, brought the hat around to each of us and asked us to pick one (they were all folded up so we didn't know what we were getting) and then take 20 minutes to write a story that relates to the essence of that fortune.

I decided to write about something that I know best, a house. At the end of my story (which will stretch over many weeks with one short chapter each week), I'll let you guess what my fortune said.  The winner will receive an interesting prize.

And so the story begins......

A Story About a House, a Ring and Love.

We had moved into our new house in an older section of an eastern Lake Ontario city and had almost finished with the unpacking and placing of items. The place was livable enough so I decided to take advantage of the warm summer day and do some work in the overgrown garden out back.

Donning my old, weathered gardening gloves and faded,
yellow straw hat, I headed downstairs to the basement where a large, splintery wooden door opened out onto the uneven brick path that lead down to a shady bed of perennials.

The garden lay in a mass of tangled disarray and an unseasoned eye would have had a hard time distinguishing a weed from a fall-blooming perennial, however, after years of gardening and having read many books, I felt confident with my weeding skills and proceeded to remove large clumps of thistles, crabgrass and wild asters from the tired old garden.

I had been weeding for quite awhile when I began to notice that the soil around the perennials was becoming loosened and friable so I decided to cultivate it with a rusty old blue trowel I had found on a shelf in the basement.

The soil felt soft and crumbly beneath the blade and as the sad garden began to take shape, I decided to stand up for a well deserved cat stretch.
Upon standing for a bit, my gaze wandered back down to where my work awaited me. Caught unawares, I was taken slightly aback when my eye caught something glinting in the meagre streams of sunlight that eked their way down through the ancient pine branches overhead.

As I wiped some beads of sweat from my forehead and pushed a wayward strand of hair out of my tired eyes, I reached down to pick up what I thought was a tiny shard of weathered glass.

My rough leather glove held the tiny, soiled object and in an endeavour to determine it's nature, I removed my remaining glove to brush away the caked on dirt that had gathered over the years.
A tiny gold ring presented itself from within a large clod of hardened clay. With great interest I set down my gloves and dusty hat and decided to go inside where I could wash the delicate ring in a bowl of clear water.

Once clean, I held the beautiful, old ring up to the light
and watched the colours dance off of the intricately cut solitary diamond in the centre of the filigreed setting.
Upon doing so, I noticed that the ring had been engraved completely around the inside of the fine gold band.

On closer inspection, the words 'I love you 'THIS MUCH'' made themselves known to me and I was intrigued to see a tiny circle engraved next to the words 'THIS MUCH'.

I felt a small tug at my heart as I began to wonder who had been the recipient of this beautiful ring and, even moreso, who had been the giver.

their's had been a great love and the ring's owner must have been devastated to have lost it in the garden all those years ago.
I placed the ring in a tiny  bowl on a shelf and headed back out to continue the work that awaited me.

As I walked down the weathered, old, uneven garden path, I made a solemn vow to myself to do some exploring around the neighbourhood in the coming days.
I was determined to find out who had once lived in the grand old house and might have been the wearer of this very special ring.




Jo-Anne Smith, the author of this article, is a REALTOR® with Brekland Realty Group, Oakville, Ontario and welcomes your real estate inquiries. To contact her, visit

There You ARE!Ā  I've Been Waiting For You!!!
Let's Get to Know One-Another:

Comment balloon 31 commentsJo-Anne Smith • February 02 2010 08:29PM


Jo-Anne, you already have drawn me into your story and I'm looking forward to the next chapter!  Good job!

Posted by Silvia Dukes PA, Broker Associate, CRS, CIPS, SRES, Florida Waterfront and Country Club Living (Tropic Shores Realty - Ich spreche Deutsch!) over 9 years ago

great story, your an excellent writer/story teller however I think for a blog try to make them shorter my internet attention span is short or maybe that's just me.

Posted by Heather the Realtor Orlando, Lake Mary, First Time Home Buyers, Bank Owned Homes (LemonTree Realty) over 9 years ago

Jo-Anne,  I am enjoying the story and will be watching as it progresses.  Your descriptions are so vivid, that it is easy to picture everything that is happening.  It may be long for a blog, but I think this is a special circumstance and look forward to the next chapter.

Posted by Gary Coles (International Referrals), Latin America Real Estate (Venture Realty International) over 9 years ago

Hi Jo-Anne,  Your writing is very creative and discriptive now!!!  When does your 1st novel come out??  If so, can I have a copy please? ;>))

Posted by Ann-Marie Clements, Ed.D. candidate, Innovative Proactive Principa (Candidate for an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership) over 9 years ago

Jo-Anne,  I did not thin that I would read all of the above but now I can't waite to hear "The Rest of The Story"

Posted by Don Eichler (Eichler Properties) over 9 years ago

Hi Jo-Anne-What a fantastic beginning to a story. You are a most gifted writer. Can't wait til next time. Talk about a cliff hanger. VERY NICELY DONE <SMILE>

Posted by Sharon Lee, Retired and loving life (Sharon Lee's Virtual Assistance) over 9 years ago

Jo-Anne I like your description of the small features and movements. Nicely done.

Posted by Bob Dunn (Sutton Group West Coast Realty) over 9 years ago

Wow!  You're certainly off to a great start! Maybe I should take a class on writing too...and anyone that knows me well would tell you that it would be "How to Say Anything in One Million Words or Less!"  I've never been accused of being a "man of few words".  I look forward to the continuing saga!  

Posted by Rick Sergison, Durham Region Real Estate Blog (EXP Realty of Canada Inc., Brokerage) over 9 years ago

You are a very interesting writer who sure knows how to describe things and I am captivated already!!

Posted by Kristin Johnston - REALTORĀ®, Giving Back With Each Home Sold! (RE/MAX Realty Center ) over 9 years ago


Thank you! It's a way for me to combine a real estate story with my writing post a blog at the same time!


Posted by Jo-Anne Smith over 9 years ago

Thanks Heather...

Yea, it's kind of long....however as I told Silvia above, it's a way for me to combine a real estate story with my writing post a blog at the same time.


Posted by Jo-Anne Smith over 9 years ago

Thanks Gary! Next chapter will be on this coming Tuesday....


Posted by Jo-Anne Smith over 9 years ago


If ever I publish a novel, I'll make sure you get one of the first signed copies. ((-;


Posted by Jo-Anne Smith over 9 years ago

awww, thanks Don.


Posted by Jo-Anne Smith over 9 years ago


Thanks so kindly. ((-;


Posted by Jo-Anne Smith over 9 years ago

thank you Bob!


Posted by Jo-Anne Smith over 9 years ago


I would love to read a story written by you....anyhow, next blog written is going to be about you. You're one of the most thoughtful guys I've ever met.  ((-;


Posted by Jo-Anne Smith over 9 years ago

Thank you Kristin! Coming from you I take it as a great compliment...


Posted by Jo-Anne Smith over 9 years ago

Jo, Wow, I absolutely loved your writing.  I can bet you just love this new class and wish I were there as well.  I look forward along with everyone else for your installments!

Posted by Laura Cerrano, Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher (Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island) over 9 years ago


Thanks for your kind words. I've only attended one class, but it looks like it will be fantastic. My classmates are all very nice and the instructor is excellent.

I wish you were here taking it with me!


Posted by Jo-Anne Smith over 9 years ago

Hi Jo,

You taking a writing class?? No you should be teaching it!! You are such a wonderful writer and story teller! Love this story I am looking forward to future installments!


Posted by Trace Galle (Designs by Trace) over 9 years ago

Jo, what a wonderful story. I will be interested to see if I can figure out your fortune cookie ;).

Posted by Janice Ankrett, Staging Professional (Janice Ankrett Home Staging) over 9 years ago


You are amazing, and it is you that is a treasure. I just love reasding everything you write.

Posted by Tom Braatz Waukesha County Real Estate 262-377-1459, Waukesha County Realtor Real Estate agent. SOLD! (Coldwell Banker) over 9 years ago

Jo - You have a real gift for writing, with your talent as a writer you could be teaching a course in writing.

Posted by Kathy Clulow, Trusted For Experience - Respected For Results (RE/MAX All-Stars Realty Inc. Brokerage) over 9 years ago

aww, thanks Trace...of course, as my friend, you're biased and I don't mind that one single bit!


Posted by Jo-Anne Smith over 9 years ago


I think you likely will figure it're very creative and imaginative.


Posted by Jo-Anne Smith over 9 years ago


I attribute a lot of my joy in writing for this blog to and Carole we're my number one supporters and encouragers over 2 years ago when I first started. I learned a lot from your many-layered and intriguing writing (which I wish you would do more of ).


Posted by Jo-Anne Smith over 9 years ago

Thanks Kathy.

I might offer some blogging courses this year....


Posted by Jo-Anne Smith over 9 years ago

Oh my gosh...totally engaged.

You're taking a writing course? What a great idea for us who blog.

But, flattery included, did you really need one?

You are such an awesome writer.

Ok can't wait for next chapter.

Posted by Missy Caulk, Savvy Realtor - Ann Arbor Real Estate (Missy Caulk TEAM) over 9 years ago


I've never taken any writing courses and would like to learn more about technique and sentence structure...but thanks so much for your kind sentiments!


Posted by Jo-Anne Smith over 9 years ago

Hey Jo,

I am only speaking the truth!! It was your great writing that hooked me on your blog from that our friendship developed so had you not been a wonderful may have lost me!! teeheehee. Truly Jo, it was your writing and I have said that many times have such a way with words and telling stories that I think you missed your calling as a writer! But as long as you are happy that's all that really matters!!

Posted by Trace Galle (Designs by Trace) over 9 years ago

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