we need a holiday: george harrison day

George Harrison in the Oval Office during the ...

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There’s too much fighting and protesting and anger today.  We got Libya, Egypt and Wisconsin holding up signs and marching through streets to the tunes of bongo drummers (I’m from Wisconsin and I never thought I’d ever lump my home state with Libya and Egypt).

Yesterday morning while Wisconsin, Ohio and Indiana senators played Midwest Chinese Fire Drill, I strolled into my Starbucks.  A showdown between two sisters played outside:

“**** you!” said one.

“I’m telling you the truth!” said the other.

“I don’t have a sister!”

“You have plenty of sisters!”

“Yeah, but I don’t have a sister named Julie.”

I assumed it was Julie the other sister yelled at.

With all this unrest there is no better time for a holiday.  I hereby declare February 25th, George Harrison‘s birthday, a spiritual holiday.

Do we give each other gifts on this holiday?  No.  We use the gifts God gave us. Rumer Godden, author of the children’s book “The Story of Holly and Ivy” said:

“There is an Indian proverb that says that everyone is a house with four rooms, a physical, a mental, an emotional, and a spiritual. Most of us tend to live in one room most of the time but unless we go into every room every day, even if only to keep it aired, we are not a complete person.”

With the help of Mr. Harrison’s songs, here’s my outline on how to celebrate this day in those four rooms:

Take a yoga class.  My orthopedic surgeon and dentist, both of Indian descent, recommended yoga for my back and thyroid.  Indians in the medical profession got it goin’ ON.  I can see why George was so fascinated with Indian culture and learned how to play sitar.

Play Scrabble online.  You’ll learn new words when the computer gets away with words you never heard of, like Qi and Ka.

Read to improve your mental well-being.  Adam Carolla‘s In Fifty Years We’ll All Be Chicks is good for laughter but it’s also eye-opening.  Did you know you can get rid of a zit by taking a shower, sterilizing a pin to pop it, then covering it with Oxy-10?  That’s what Adam says.  Why didn’t I know this as a teenager?  I just covered it with make-up with an icky way-overused sponge which made my acne worse.

Whenever we apply a method to deal with anger it never works.  So I let Angry Birds take out my rage for me.  Shooting birds shaped like bombs through sling shots to destroy little green pigs is at least a little entertaining.  See if you’re still mad after that.

One of the easiest ways to enhance your spiritual life is to sign up for a daily e-mail.  I get mine through Heartlight.  They send me a Bible passage and a quote for the day.  Rumer Godden’s quote popped up in my in-box just a few days ago.

Men, on George Harrison Day, grow mustaches.  Respect the ‘stache!  Since George Harrison Day falls on a Friday this year, you get a 3 day weekend to grow it.

So roll out your yoga mats, wear breathable cotton and go barefoot.  Report back to me on Monday.

a cause for organ donation

A model of the car my brother owned with license plate FYI. It did NOT stand for "For Your Information." Illinesians, take a guess.

The singer/songwriter Don McLean was correct when he wrote February made me shiver/With every paper I delivered/Bad news on the doorstep/I couldn’t take one more step. Organ donation makes this month at least a little warmer.

I’m not very good at this time of year because my 46-year-old brother died of a brain aneurysm on Feb. 13, 2008. He suffered the aneurysm on the 12th but was kept alive for 24 hours for harvesting organs.

From what I’m aware of, he donated his kidney to a 26-year-old who waited for 13 years. He also donated his corneas and his veins for bypass procedures.

According to the website organdonor.gov, 109,719 people wait for an organ. 18 people die each day waiting for an organ. 1 organ donor can save up to 8 lives. This site makes it super-duper easy to register. Click on the upper right hand corner to register with your state.

for my uncle rondy

My grandmother with my uncle in the 1920s

My Uncle Berlie Rondal Lassiter passed away last night from heart failure at age 81.  He was a Korean War Veteran, ranked SFC.  And he was father to my cousins Mary and Steve, grandfather to Eric and brother to my mom Uva Nell.

I have memories of him visiting our home in Wisconsin every Saturday bringing newspapers from Kentucky where he and my mother grew up.

When he was a teenager, he went out on a date and my mom, not wanting to miss out on the fun, hid in the trunk of his car. He discovered her not so shortly afterward. Did you know there’s not a lot of air in the trunk of a car?  Ask my mom, she knows.

He graduated from Illinois’s McLeansboro High School in 1949 where he was captain of the volleyball team that went to the state championship.

When a loved one dies, do you ever have a fleeting thought of them before they pass away?  Last night I read to my daughter a story from the magazine Spider. Rondi was the name of the character.  Though I knew Uncle Rondy was sick and we mentioned him in our prayers, that story made him stick in my head when he passed away.

May he rest in peace with full honors at the Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Union Grove, WI.