01 Dec 2017

Letters From The Hart: December 2017

Letters From The Hart: December 2017

 

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Every year, when my wife and kids ask me what I want for Christmas, I draw a blank. I know it’s not useful to them, but really — and this is going to sound cheesy — I feel like I already have everything I need. Ever since about high school, I’ve never much gone for the “stuff–centered” parts of the holiday season, at least for myself. All I care about is that my wife and kids have a blast and that we set aside some time to all hang out together  … CONTINUE READING
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See the Holiday Delights in Fort Myers

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Testimonial

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Florida’s Finest Christmas Trees with Bobby Blanchard

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01 Nov 2017

Letters From The Hart: November 2017

Letters From The Hart: November 2017

 

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Though we’ve mostly recovered by now, the community of Fort Myers is still reeling in some ways from the impact of Hurricane Irma. Look around and you can still see scars left behind by the storm: the lingering stumps of trees snapped from the wind, damaged homes still waiting for repair, and, of course, the memories of that crazy experience some of us are still processing … CONTINUE READING
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Testimonial

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FHA 203 Housing

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Rates & Reels: Teaming Up With Travis Smith and Kyle Curry

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04 Oct 2017

Letters From The Hart: October 2017

Letters From The Hart: October 2017

 

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One fateful October day when I was 7, I was at Walmart with my parents, staring at a Batman costume that’d caught my eye the instant we entered the store. Complete with a mask, cape, and utility belt, the dinky plastic uniform had completely captured my imagination. But, the husky kid that I was, my parents were convinced that the flimsy faux spandex would be too tight.They were right, of course, but I didn’t know or care. When I made my case, which mostly included how cool … CONTINUE READING
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Permit Fishing With Dan James Rod Company

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Creative Halloween Treats

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How Farmers Grow Giant Pumpkins

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01 Sep 2017

Letters From The Hart: September 2017

Letters From The Hart: September 2017

 

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I was always in awe of my Granddaddy — yes, that’s what I called him. I’m sure that anybody who knew him thought the same, with his seemingly endless library of knowledge and trivia, his knack for artistic creation and expression, and his skill at a staggering number of hobbies.Ever since I was about 6 years old, Granddaddy and Grandma lived right across the street from us. My brother and I were always more than welcome in their home, and we loved visiting them as often as possible. The tubby kid that I was, I used to … CONTINUE READING
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The Unstoppable Rise of the Bullet Journal

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The Truth Behind Your Favorite Home Improvement Shows

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Rates and Reels Episode No. 7 With Florida State Rep Dane Eagle

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04 Aug 2017

Letters From The Hart: August 2017

Letters From The Hart: August 2017

 

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Back in ’07, in the middle of the Great Recession that hit Lee County so hard, I was driving back to my office from what had been a horrible, useless seminar. My business was in ruins in the wake of the housing crisis. I had hoped that this seminar would miraculously be the one to solve all my problems. It wasn’t.

So there I was, driving down some side street alone in my truck, in a garbage mood, when a voice … CONTINUE READING

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View of a Lifetime

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What More Does Your Home Have to Give?

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This Month’s Episode of Rates and Reels

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01 Jul 2017

Letters from the Hart: July 2017

Letters from the Hart: July 2017

 

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Last month, my family, my in-laws, and I finally got the opportunity to get away from it all, out on the open ocean on the Harmony of the Seas, part of Royal Caribbean’s cruise line and the biggest ship in the world. Between the shows, the delicious food, and … CONTINUE READING
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The World’s Happiest Vacations

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Testimonials

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Rates and Reels

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01 Jun 2017

Letters from the Hart: June 2017

Letters from the Hart: June 2017

 

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My wife, Stefanie, often jokes that while I can remember every fishing spot I’ve ever been to, which tackle and bait I used there, and the size of each fish that I caught that day, I can’t recall what I did 10 minutes ago. It’s true, I’m a forgetful person, but I’ll never forget when I met my wife … CONTINUE READING
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Rates and Reels

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Move Over, Man Cave! Introducing the She Shed

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Yellowstone: Where the Wild Things Are

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04 May 2017

Letters From The Hart: May 2017

Letters From The Hart: May 2017

 

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My family and I spent Mother’s Day at the South Seas Resort for the annual Fishin’ With a Mission fundraising fishing tournament. My own mom didn’t do much angling; relaxing by the pool with her grandchildren is more her speed. But as the weekend went by, I spent a lot of time reflecting on her influence on my life … CONTINUE READING
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Rates and Reels

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The Secret Language of Real Estate

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The Great Inca Citadel

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01 Apr 2017

Letters from the Hart: April 2017

Letters from the Hart: April 2017

 

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I’m proud to say that this is the third year in a row VanDyk Mortgage is a sponsor of the popular annual Fishin’ With a Mission fundraiser for Saint Michael Lutheran School — the school that all three of my children attend. The event, which my wife helps organize, is a huge weekend bash at the South Seas Resort on Captiva Island, including massive fishing competitions for both kids and adults. It’s a great family time, with fantastic company all around. Of course, I get to spend a weekend fishing, which is something I’ll never turn down … CONTINUE READING
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Killin’ it on Lake Okeechobee

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Color Me Impressed!

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Sharing Is Saving

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01 Mar 2017

Letters from the Hart: March 2017

Letters from the Hart: March 2017

 

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My dad passed away a few years ago, and he was one of the best baseball coaches and men I ever knew. His coaching journey started as the coach of the Cape Coral American Little League Orioles when I was 10 years old. Anyone who’s ever played a sport and had their dad as a coach knows how exciting and terrifying that is as a kid. Your Dad is always harder on you, and you make him mad because you listen to him less than you do other coaches. Good times for all involved … CONTINUE READING
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On the Boat With Mayor Randy Henderson

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Leave the Freeze Behind

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The Perfect Spring Picnic

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