VanDyk Mortgage - December 2018

December 2018

Letters From the Hart Give us a call! 239-437-4278 Or visit Corporate NMLS #3035

THE PUBLIX NEXT DOOR My Grandpa’s Pet-Project-Turned-Grocery-Store

My granddaddy’s garden started small. It was just a few citrus trees along the side of his house — tangerines, lemons, and grapefruit — and maybe six rows of assorted vegetables. He and my grandma lived right across the street, so whenever my parents needed some fresh ingredients, they sent us over there to grab a couple tomatoes, a bell pepper, beans, carrots, or whatever they had in stock. His garden was a relatively normal operation at the beginning. operation in the half-acre of woods behind our house. And then it seemed like almost overnight, there was another quarter-acre setup out beside the lake next to our house. They had a total of three sizeable gardens overflowing with basically all the food anyone could ever need. I’m sure I could have appreciated the fresh produce coming in day after day a lot more, but as a kid, it was just food — except for the fruit. The instant the citrus ripened, we were out in the yard picking the limbs clean and stuffing our faces with oranges and tangerines. I won’t lie; occasionally, my cousins and I got into tangerine fights with each other that didn’t end well for anyone. Between what the family brought in, our battles, and our frenzy for delicious citrus, if it wasn’t rotten or unripe, it got eaten. Of course, with him in charge, that didn’t last long. Pretty soon, they had a second and much bigger

If they were still around and running those acres of gardens today, I would envision Granddaddy piling everything into the car and driving it out to a farmer’s market. (But back then, farmer’s markets were not around.) Although, knowing him, he’d have a hard time parting with any of the fruits of his labor at any price close to reasonable. More likely, he’d say something gruff about how many dozens of hours he had put into growing the produce and end up taking it back home. My Granddaddy was good at everything he put his mind to. I’ve written before about the incredible bark art he made, the wooden toys he’d carve for us kids, and his depth of knowledge about what seemed like any subject. And my grandma was pretty amazing herself, a woman of many talents and boundless kindness. Thanks to their hard work, going to their house was like going to a grocery store. I don’t have many tangerine battles these days, but when I see citrus trees across the state of Florida, I’m reminded of those days on my grandparents’ makeshift farm. As you can imagine, no produce today really compares to what we had growing up.

The gardens were my grandpa’s pet project — one among many — but Grandma worked on it all the time, often with my territorial dog, Spunky, in tow. Since there was way too much for any one family to consume, she was always working to can the food and store it away. We chipped in pretty regularly as well, whether there were weeds to pull or seeds to plant.

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We started out the day early, off the coast near South Seas Island Resort, with the tarpon already rolling. Right off the bat, Ozzie had a beastly fish on the hook, leaping into the air. After a bitter struggle, we got him up to the boat. Captain Ozzie yelled, “First tarpon of the season!” It was the first tarpon on “Rates and Reels” too, and from a self- proclaimed rookie, no less! Like I said, luck was on our side all day. It didn’t take long before I reeled in a keeper Trout, and Ozzie pulled one in not too long after that. A bit later, he brought in a Snook, as well. “Alright, buddy, I’m going to give you one more chance,” Ozzie warned the Snook. “Next time you see one of those shiners, don’t bite into ‘em. You’re not stupid!” And he sent the little guy on his way. Of course, once the day was done, it was time for my signature “3 Questions.” First I asked Ozzie if he had any advice for fellow intrepid entrepreneurs looking to open a bar or restaurant. “Honestly, if you

tree. The tree is specially selected by Rockefeller Center’s landscaping crews, who scout out trees years in advance. It remains lit from November to early January, so you have plenty of time to check it out. Ranch Christmas in Jackson, Wyoming Jackson, Wyoming, takes its frontier culture to the next level during the Christmas season. All year, the city proudly displays four elk antler arches, but around the holidays, they are lit up with white string lights and flanked by snow. The Christmas decorations and lights surrounding the archway make for a Western-themed holiday pulled right out of a John Wayne classic. For holiday admirers looking for a unique spin, Jackson has you covered. Yearly Yuletide in Santa Claus, Indiana This one’s for the Christmas lover. If you can’t make it out to Santa Claus, so amazing?” It turns out that wagyu and Kobe steaks are the highest grade of steaks in the world. “All Kobe steaks are wagyu, but not all wagyu steaks are Kobe.” Apparently, for beef to be Kobe beef, it has to come from a specific area in Japan, from a bloodline of cows that goes back a couple hundred years. Kobe beef is super rare in the U.S., and Ozzie admits he hasn’t been able to try any yet — which I understand, seeing as how it’s probably a minimum of $300 for a single steak! “Wagyu is the next step down,” Ozzie says. “We’ve been carrying it for some time.” Keep in mind that it’s not on his regular menu, though. If you want the want to be successful, you have to really enjoy what you’re doing,” he told me. “Don’t do it to be cool. Don’t do it because you want to entertain your friends. You have to love it, because it will take all of your time.” Then one of our viewers, Josh Walsh, had a question I wondered about as well: “What’s the difference between wagyu and Kobe beef, and what makes them

good stuff, you need to call ahead or plan a special event. While I was there, we filmed a fresh episode of “Rates and Grills,” and Ozzie traded in his fishing rod for a fillet knife. Rest assured, he transformed our catches into some delicious fare and gave me a few key cooking tips to boot. But that’s a story for next month. For now, watch full episodes of “Rates and Reels” and “Rates and Grills” on my YouTube channel, and make sure to go and check out King’s Kitchen at 2150 W. First Street right here in downtown Fort Myers! I can’t recommend the food enough, and you know with someone as friendly and skilled as Ozzie Morrobel in charge, you’re in great hands. Until next month, this has been Tim Hart wishing you low rates and tight lines!



There’s nothing quite like the magical lights of the holiday season, and some destinations in the U.S. have perfected the craft of holiday decoration. If you’re looking to get away this December and still engage in seasonal festivities, add one of these places to your must-visit list.

Indiana, this holiday season, you can still celebrate Christmas in this tiny Midwestern town in January, June, or even October. Embracing its unique name, the town boasts a museum, holiday shopping center, and a Christmas theme park. In a moving tribute, the town’s residents also write responses to children’s letters to Kris Kringle himself. It’s impossible to avoid holiday cheer in this town. Disney World’s Christmas Magic What better place to celebrate the most magical time of the year than in the most magical place on Earth? Walt Disney World’s halls are decked to the max with a parade, gingerbread homes, strings of lights, and festive parties. Plus, costs to visit Disney World can be cheaper during the Christmas season, so keep an eye out for a vacation steal.

New York City’s Rockefeller Center New York City is an iconic location for Christmastime. The scene is like a Hallmark card: Ice-skating lovers whiz past miles of twinkling lights underneath an exceptionally tall and amply decorated

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Teach Your Kids About Winter Holidays MULTICULTURAL CELEBRATIONS

According to the Pew Research Center, Christmas is the most celebrated December holiday in the U.S. Yet, like the melting pot it is, the U.S. contains many cultures from across the globe, each with their own traditions. Teach your kids about some of the holiday celebrations from different cultures this season. Kwanzaa Created in 1966 by black studies

Judaism. The tradition of the eight-day celebration and the lighting of the menorah candles comes from the story of a miracle that happened during the rebellion, when a one-day supply of oil burned for eight days in a temple. Diwali Though celebrated in late fall, Diwali is a Hindu holiday that’s known as the festival of lights. Its main purpose is to celebrate the triumph of good over evil, and the five- day festival includes the lighting of candles or lamps, feasting, and giving gifts to family and friends. Diwali also celebrates the Kwanzaa



professor Maulana Karenga during the Black Nationalist Movement, Kwanzaa is a seven-day celebration and reflection period for African Americans. The week offers African Americans the opportunity to connect with African culture and history by celebrating the seven principles of African heritage, which include unity, self- determination, and creativity. Hanukkah Hanukkah pays homage to a two-year Jewish rebellion against an oppressive Greek-Syrian government that took them captive in an attempt to eliminate

Hindu new year and is the largest, most widely celebrated festival in India.

This is not an exhaustive list by any means, but educating your children about holiday practices other than Christmas will give them a broader worldview and inspire them to gain further knowledge about cultures outside their own. Your local library is a great resource for children’s literature on these holidays, and there are also TV programs from PBS that feature episodes on these traditions. Enjoy the winter holiday season, however you decide to celebrate!

Tyler McGowan & Savannah Loos with their Realtor Jay LaGace VanDyk Testimonial


Here is what our clients had to say about their experience with VanDyk Mortgage:

With Christmas coming up, everybody’s talking about presents. But at VanDyk Mortgage, there’s no greater gift we can receive than the kind words of a happy client. Last month, Tim Hart had a chance to sit down with first-time homebuyer Jay Genter for a video testimonial. We were thrilled to hear about his positive experience.

“The best part for us was working with a team of people who were on top of it,” Jay says in the video. “I could call [Tim] on a Sunday afternoon, and [he’d] answer. The team made me really comfortable throughout the process.” “We did some homework when we were deciding on which mortgage company to go with,” he says. “The banks wouldn’t even meet up with me to talk about the process, […] but [Tim was] right there.” We’d like to extend a thank-you to Jay and his wife, Marla. We’re honored you chose us to help you close on your very first home! To watch the rest of his testimonial and get some first-time-buyer advice from Jay, visit “Tim Hart- Loan Officer” on Facebook. And if you have any questions, give us a call. We’d love to hear from you!

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Inside This Issue Tim Hart, NMLS #354676 8280 College Parkway Suite #101 Fort Myers, FL 33919

Give us a call! 239-437-4278 Or visit

Tim Remembers His Grandpa’s Massive Garden PAGE 1 ‘Rates and Reels’ With King’s Kitchen’s

Ozzie Morrobel (continued) Holiday Decoration Tours PAGE 2 Teach Your Kids About Holidays December Testimonial Sudoku PAGE 3 ‘Rates and Reels’ With King’s Kitchen’s Ozzie Morrobel PAGE 4

Reeling In Some Serious Catches With King’s 2 OZZIES, 1 BOAT

It had been a couple of months since I’d been able to put up another episode of “Rates and Reels,” but with Ozzie Morrobel as my guest for Episode 15, I knew it’d be worth the wait. You may know him as the owner of the awesome King’s Kitchen here in Fort Myers. But to me, he’s just the first guy I’ve ever seen catch a Southwest Florida Grand Slam, reeling in a Tarpon, Sea Trout, Snook, and Redfish all in a single day. I do have to say, though, that his odds were definitely helped by having our guide, the famous Captain Ozzie Fischer, steering the ship all day. With two Ozzies on the same boat, luck was on our side, and we had a fantastic day out on the waves. Later, we even got to cook up some of our hard-earned catches on the grill at Ozzie’s restaurant in a brand-new episode of ‘Rates and Grills.’


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