VanDyk Mortgage - March 2020

MARCH 2020

Letters From the Hart Give us a call! 239-437-4278 Or visit IN A GALAXY FAR, FAR AWAY … Let’s Talk About ‘Star Wars’ Corporate NMLS #3035

It’s been a few months since “Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker” premiered, so it’s time to talk about it. If you haven’t been able to see the movie yet, I’ll try not to go into any major spoilers, but this won’t be completely spoiler-free. You have been warned. I have always been a huge “Star Wars” fan. I’ve loved it ever since I was a kid, and I’ve really liked all the recent movies — except for “The Last Jedi,” which was pretty horrible. “The Rise of Skywalker” was a true return to form. It was great! I loved the grand size of everything and the big battles. One of my favorite scenes was the characters going into the massive wreckage of the Death Star. The scenery in this movie was really fantastic. It’s not a perfect movie by any means. I’m not a big fan of how they told us Palpatine was back on the opening crawl and offered no explanation. But to me, “Star Wars” isn’t about being perfect. “Star Wars” is supposed to be a fun space adventure that generations can enjoy together, and “The Rise of Skywalker” was exactly that. I grew up watching “Star Wars,” so it was cool to see this movie in the theaters with my kids. This was a good final chapter for the Skywalker Saga. Of course, we all know this isn’t the end of “Star Wars.” We might not see these characters again, but rumor has it that new movies are already in the works, not to mention all the shows coming to Disney+. The popularity of “Star Wars” can also be found off-screen in many different places. On the weekend of New Year’s Eve, my family took a trip to Disney World. There’s a lot to do at the parks, but our priority was hitting Galaxy’s Edge, the “Star Wars”-themed park in Hollywood Studios. We arrived at 6 a.m., an hour before the park opened. Already, there were 5,000 people waiting to get in. I talked to a Disney employee later, and they told me it was the second busiest day they’d ever had, right behind the park’s opening day. As soon as the gates opened, everyone had their phones out, pulling up the

park app and trying to get passes for Rise of the Resistance, the new “Star Wars” ride.

Throughout the crowd, you could hear people cheer as they got their pass. People were going nuts! It took us four minutes to get through and get our passes. We had ticket No. 130, which meant we’d be able to get on the ride at 6 that night. A few minutes later, all the tickets were gone. If you’re going to Disney World anytime soon and want to get on Rise of the Resistance, make sure you get there before the park opens and are ready to claim your Boarding Pass. Otherwise, it’s going to be impossible to get on. “But Tim,” I hear you saying, “those crowds sound terrible. Was the ride even worth it?” Yes, yes it was. Rise of the Resistance is the coolest ride I’ve ever been on, second only to “Avatar” Flight of Passage ride. This was a full experience, lasting over 20 minutes as you go from scene to scene, each one cooler than the last. It was totally different than any other ride I’ve ever been on. Even if you didn’t like “The Rise of Skywalker,” you have to admit that it’s a pretty good time to be a “Star Wars” fan. Between “The Mandalorian” TV show on Disney+, the future movies, and the theme park, there’s a lot of ways to get to a galaxy far, far away.

NMLS #354676

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Celebrate With These Little-Known Festivities

money on cleaning supplies by taking the green route. When your current stock runs out, try buying bulk cleaners or making your own. Both options will save plastic because you can reuse your bottles, and they can help you avoid the harmful chemicals found in most cleaners. Visit and read the blog post “Zero Waste Cleaning Supplies + Recipes” to get started. If you’re used to using a plastic jug of liquid laundry detergent, it’s time to step out of your comfort zone. This spring, try exploring greener alternatives like plant-based bulk laundry powder (Molly’s Suds is an excellent source). Or, if you’re feeling really adventurous, you can even try adding all-natural cleaners like soap nuts or English ivy to your laundry loads. For more on the former, search “soap 2. Explore alternative laundry detergents. thousands of people to watch celebrities, musicians, bands, floats, and Miss Arkansas glide by. The event also features a Blarney stone kissing contest and a parade king and queen. A Little Luck in America’s Heartland O’Neill, Nebraska, is home to the world’s largest shamrock and more unique St. Patrick’s Day traditions. This Irish community doubles down on its heritage every March with a traditional parade, music, and Irish dancing. But the town also hosts a popular dodgeball tournament and donkey basketball. What could be better than pummeling your opponents in dodgeball and outpacing the competition while riding a donkey in the school gymnasium? Perhaps enjoying a pint or two with your teammates afterward. And O’Neill is just the spot to do it.

There’s no place quite like Ireland on St. Patrick’s Day. What was once a purely religious holiday to honor the legend of St. Patrick chasing all the snakes out of the country has turned into a global celebration. But if a trip to Ireland isn’t in the budget, check out these three little- known stateside destinations that are just as festive. Short and Sweet in Arkansas Thanks to the clever thinking of some Irish friends meeting for a pint at a bar on one of the shortest streets in the world, Bridge Street in Hot Springs, Arkansas, the First Ever 17th Annual World’s Shortest St. Patrick’s Day Parade will travel 98 feet once again this year. Don’t assume the turnout isn’t robust just because the distance is staggeringly low. The parade lasts for hours, drawing

Ohio’s Little Piece of Ireland You may not be able to fly to Ireland, but you can visit a little piece of it right in the U.S. Head to Dublin, Ohio, this St. Patrick’s Day for a traditional celebration sure to put a wee bit o’ pep in your step. Partake in a traditional Irish breakfast or enjoy a parade complete with bagpipers and Irish dancers. Boasting one of the largest celebrations in the U.S., Dublin is an affordable alternative for those looking to celebrate the Irish way.

Your Guide to Spring- Greening


nuts” on, and read up on ivy detergent at Permacrafters. com/English-Ivy-Laundry-Detergent. 3. Say goodbye to paper towels. Paper towels are a mainstay in American homes, but do we really need them when a good old-fashioned rag can do the job? According to the Ocean Conservancy, 13 billion pounds of paper towels are tossed in the U.S. each year! This spring, quit paper towels and keep a stash of dish rags under the sink to do your dirty work. When you’re cleaning out your closet, you can even cut up old T-shirts and add them to your rag stash! If you’re brave, try giving up tissues, too — an old-school hanky does the trick. If you’ve made all three of these swaps, don’t stop there! To continue your green journey, visit any of the blogs mentioned above and start browsing.

It takes a special

kind of person to enjoy spring- cleaning. For most of us, the

satisfaction of a clean house doesn’t

quite outweigh the hours of scrubbing, sorting, and slogging through heaps of unnecessary stuff. If you’re struggling to find the motivation to start your spring- cleaning, try flipping the paradigm: Instead of spring-cleaning, think of what you’re doing as spring- greening , and make some eco-friendly swaps along the way. Here are a few ideas to get you started. 1 . Swap your plastic spray bottles for bulk or DIY cleaning products. According to a Statista report, in 2019, the household cleaners market was worth more than $31 billion, and it’s continuously growing. You can save

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That’s just the prologue for “Cayo Costa Cross.” From there, the book jumps to the modern day to focus on a couple in the middle of a divorce who is fighting over an old letter that could lead to buried treasure. I’m not going to say anything else about the book. You’ll have to read it yourself to find out what happens next. Getting John on the podcast was really awesome — he even promised to put me in a future book! We got to talk about books, growing up in SWFL, and how those “deleted” Facebook messages aren’t really gone forever. Did you know attorneys can subpoena those old messages and use them in a court trial? That was certainly news to me! Imagine how those drunk messages would look like blown up on a 10x10 screen in front of a courtroom. If you’re a fan of John Grisham mysteries, you’ll really enjoy

Many of the same characters appear in his various books, but John assured me that they are stand-alone novels. You can pick any of them up, enjoy the mystery without being confused, and maybe even learn something new about our area. John’s latest book, “Cayo Costa Cross,” follows the tradition of thrillers set in SWFL but expands to include some really interesting local history. “You may or may not know about the history of quarantine docks in the United States,” John explained. “But before all the vaccines and all the fancy medicines were invented, diseases such as yellow fever or tuberculosis could wipe out a port. They

made you sit in quarantine for two weeks before you entered the port. If you tried to enter the port early, they’d kill you. If you were sick and tried to escape, they’d shoot you and burn the boat. You had to sit there and if you made it through quarantine, they’d let you come to port. “This new book starts in 1910 at a quarantine dock. My character was trying to get money to pay for his

daughter’s treatment because she was dying of tuberculosis. He went down to Key West, stole a stolen cross from a

John D. Mills’ books. Support a local author by visiting his website And you can listen to my full interview with John on “The HartBeat Show” wherever you get your podcasts.

bad guy, and was coming back up to sell it to pay for her treatment, but he’s stuck in quarantine. The bad guy’s boat showed up, so he had to hide the gold cross and send a letter to his wife in case he didn’t make it.”


Trivia Question: What ticket number did Tim and his family get for the Rise of the Resistance ride?

Solution on Pg. 4

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Be the first to answer the question on Page 3 by emailing and win a Visa gift card!


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

Timdango: ‘Star Wars’ Edition PAGE 1

Stay Stateside With These Little-Known St. Patrick’s Day Celebrations 3 Eco-Friendly Home Swaps to Make During Spring-Cleaning PAGE 2

Testimonial from the Hart PAGE 3

Mysteries and Thrillers of SWFL PAGE 4

Local Author John D. Mills Shares His Inspiration BASED ON A TRUE STORY

“Where do you get the ideas for your books?” This is a question authors get all the time, and the answers tend to vary. My favorite response to this question came from John D. Mills, local Southwest Florida author and guest on a recent episode of “The HartBeat Show.” “I go to work every day,” John said. “The courthouse has some of the best stories out there.” John is an attorney here in Fort Myers. He started as a prosecutor for the state attorney’s office in Fort Myers before opening his own practice for family law and criminal defense. John is also a fifth- generation native of Fort Myers. This real-life experience has been the perfect inspiration for John’s thrilling legal novels set right here in SWFL. “Doug Shearer, my first character from my first novel, was inspired by John Shearer, who’s a retired lawyer and judge, and Doug Wilson, a policeman and court administrator who passed away a while back,” John told me as an example for how his work has

inspired his writing. “I combined their names because they were two of my biggest mentors.” To date, John has written nine books, all set in and around SWFL. Some of his most popular books are “The Trophy Wife Divorce” and “The Hooker, The Dancer and The Nun.” John really has a flair for titles.


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