Life With Larry 4

Sixty eight years ago today my father was born and the world would never be the same. He is a unique model, the likes of which they don’t make anymore.

I have never, EVER been awake before him. As a kid, when I’d finally give in to the urge to go to the bathroom in the wee morning hours, he was always already awake and working on some project. He would see me shuffle by in my pjs and say, “Hey, Sis! Are you up for all day?”

I wasn’t. I was hoping to not be up for a few more hours, but nature had called and wouldn’t hang up. In my mind a bulging bladder was the only reason to ever be up before the sun.

Not Dad.

If we ever surfaced past 7 a.m. we would inevitably hear, “Daylight’s burning,” or “You’ve slept the day away!”

Most of the time he made sure we didn’t sleep past seven. He liked stripping blankets off, pulling us out of bed by our ankles and holding us upside down or rubbing our faces with his whiskers.

Sometimes he would forget that most people who live in his time zone may not be extra extra early birds and he’d make phone calls. Because he’d already been up for hours he had a warped sense of what is a socially acceptable time to call people at home. I heard many phone conversations of his that started with, “Oh, did I get you out of bed? Well, since you’re up . . .”

While I truly admire that he is an early riser, I do sometimes question his predawn project choices.

My sister and I were home for Christmas break from college one year and had stayed up late yapping. We’d fallen asleep in the bedroom that was next to the garage.

On December 27th, about 5 a.m. I awoke to what sounded like the sirens used in World War II to alert communities to get in the bomb shelters. I wrapped up in a blanket and felt my way in the dark out to the frigid garage.

There was dad wearing his fluorescent orange hunting coveralls, camo earflap hat and goggles revving up a chainsaw.

“What in the world are you doing, Dad?”

“Sharpening my chainsaw.”

“Why?”

“Because it was dull.”

“It’s the middle of Christmas break, Dad, not to mention the middle of the night! What is it you need a sharpened chainsaw for? To chop down the Christmas tree in the living room?”

“I was up, the chainsaw was dull, so I was sharpening it. What?”

I tried to explain to him the science of sound waves, the properties of echo, the proximity of neighbors and what vacation time means for most people. It fell on deaf ears covered by wool flaps.

The early morning is not his only prime time for odd projects.

There was the Thanksgiving when my mother, grandmother, aunts and sisters and I were frantically working in the kitchen to prepare the feast when Dad decided to turn off the water and sprawl across the kitchen floor on his back to fix a pipe under the sink that had been leaking for months.

We’ve gone down many a “One Way” street with cars honking and heading straight for us while Dad casually answers our shrieks with, “What? I’m only going one way!”

On family vacations Dad made sure we were out and about by dawn looking in the windows of attractions and museums to see what we could before opening hours, which were usually a couple of hours away.

He buys a hat anywhere he visits, has a “How-to” book on every subject, bumps into someone he knows everywhere he goes, takes two pictures of everything and wore a permed fro past age 40.

He likes boiled raisin cake, a glass of milk with bread broken up in it, and he drinks pickle juice out of the jar.

If he’s buying new pants he tries on every pair in his size of the exact same pants before he chooses one because, “every pair fits just a little differently.”

No, life with Larry is never dull. In fact, I can’t imagine a world without him in it. I hope he has another 68 years to haggle with store clerks over the cost of a gallon of milk.

Happy Birthday Dad!

4 thoughts on “Life With Larry

  1. Reply Nicole Jacobson Herr Jul 14,2011 6:05 pm

    Oh I love everything about this post! I am pretty sure I had Lar’s clone as my father… oh wait, they’re from the same genes.
    The whiskars to wake you up, the sharpening of the chain saw, the vacations that were anything BUT a vacation – you’re there to vacation, dammit, not sleep!!!…. The part you forgot was the part where all the Jacobson’s GET READY to do a project. You know, you can’t just got cut a Christmas tree, you have to first climb in the attic to FIND the chain saw, and while you’re up there, rearrange everything and assess what needs to be moved 4 inches, and then before you can use the chain saw, you have to give the motor a once-over and change its oil, THEN sharpen the blade, and while you’re there sharpening, you might as well sharpen every other tool in the garage and shed, and then since you’re sharpening, let’s hurry and sharpen Leisa’s knives until they could kill someone, and THEN it’s time to go cut down the tree.
    Love ya, Kar!

  2. Reply Cheryl Jul 15,2011 1:27 pm

    Ok, Ok–I ‘resemble’ many of those early morning antics, and it’s a genetic curse that can’t be helped except through therapy; and there aren’t any therapist awake that early–except Larry, and he’s busy sharpening the saw!
    Good material!!

  3. Reply Tiffany Harding Jul 16,2011 2:17 am

    Oh, Nicole, I cried while reading your comment!!! Soooo TRUE!!!! My dad to a “T”!! Every now and then I catch myself doing it, too, and I look over at my husband shaking his head at me with a smirky smile! Ahhhh, genetics are CRUEL!!! But hey, the Jacobson genes GET THINGS DONE!!! And that’s a plus! 🙂

  4. Reply Tanna Tittle Jul 22,2011 7:58 pm

    Oh, the memories!!! I have many “Lar” moments myself. Matt lovingly says, “Hey, thanks Lar!” when it’s a goodie. 😉 But as Tiff says, the Jacobsons don’t let grass grow under their feet, and for sure the best gift dad gave me is the ability to work hard. Now if only someone had given me the art of working smart, I’d be in business!

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