Sheepranch, Carpentry, and Satellites.

Sheepranch, Carpentry, and Satellites.

so, I just got back from Japan…and before going thru the 600+ photos, I decided I should get these photos up and online.

In August I took a trip to Sheepranch, CA and met up with my Grandfather, Dad, Aunt & Uncle in order to do some much needed repairs on the family property.

In September I went on a “Mystery” trip with my Mom. It was to celebrate our birthdays and she’d been planning it since before July.

Then, in October I went spur-of-the-moment to Japan to visit Micah. Along the way I met up w/ my old classmate from university, Hiro and some friends, Jason and Erin from Seattle…but let’s start back in August.

This truck belonged to my Grandpa Guidici…now it’s Uncle Nick’s work truck.


Grandpa Fitzwater, Uncle Nick, and my Dad.
Grandpa, Uncle, Dad

It’s a scientifically proven fact, sheep love fresh nectarines.
they love 'em

We had to fix a fence, rebuild the front steps, and replace part of the porch.
fix and rebuild

Everyday we’d start work around 7am. By noon it would be in the 90’s…the heat of the afternoon
 saw the needle reach 105. It was hot. And we worked our tails off. We drank a ton of water
and we ate like there was no tomorrow. (thanks Aunt Diane!)

work hard

Every night I’d go out into the meadow to sleep. It’s one of my favorite things about Sheepranch 
in the summer. It’s so warm you can sleep outside and the sky is so clear and so void of city lights 
that you can see the milky way. One night my Dad and I saw what we think was the International 
Space station and the shuttle…two brilliant white spots of light tracked each other across the 
sky – moving faster than any satellite I’d ever seen.

After a 12 hour day of manual labor…I was falling asleep at 9pm. No internet. No cell phone. No tv.

Heck. Some people pay for this kind of retreat.

My Grandpa is one heck of a carpenter. He gave me a simple task, just slightly above what I could
 do on my own. Cut and add the side boards to the stairs. We had 2x12x1 planks of antique redwood
siding that I had to cut down. Measure, cut, measure, cut – fit and nail.

I really appreciate what a good teacher he was, and how patient he was with me. It would have
 been faster I’m sure for him to do it himself, but he guided me through the process. And not only
did I feel like I contributed, and had a sense of pride of completing something, but I learned
 some carpentry skills as well.

Luke's handywork

He told a lot of stories this trip. I wrote some of them down in my sketch book…and I should type them
 up later. One that stands out to me right now is the story about when he first started in the wood shop at 
the shipyard.

Grandpa was trying to do something, a new task, and so he asked one of the older, more experienced 
guys how to do it.

The guy responded, “Fuck you sonny. You’ll learn the same way I did, the hard way.”

From that point on, my Grandpa resolved to not let that happen to others. And when he was Foreman 
of the shop, he made sure that all the new guys would get help. They weren’t there to work against 
each other – they were there to do a good job.

Iowa tomorrow.


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