Harpo’s granddaughter, Katie, would agree with your definition of paganism. She follows the religion of Wicca. She pays attention to the different seasons, the moon, the stars. She has an altar in her bedroom with incense, candles, stones, and herbs. I think Dad would be horrified if he knew this. Katie does not believe in Jesus Christ. She does not follow the Christian or Jewish calendar. She believes in the powers of nature. She is a vegetarian. I have no idea where she developed this interest. The rest of us don’t eat meat that often, but it is more because it is expensive. We usually eat rice, beans, vegetables, pasta and salads and enjoy having meat about twice a week.
Katie has strong feelings about what a person should eat and how everyone must exercise. She is always watching her weight. If she gains two pounds she gets nuts.
I assumed this was part of her ballet training but it is something she is passionate about.
She tries to discipline the rest of us in the household to follow her ways of thinking. We have learned it is easier not to have certain foods in the house. Otherwise we get the lectures and sermons. We sneak in white bread and white rice. When she finds it she gets really mad. Sometimes we have ice cream and cookies in the house. We are not allowed to have Cocoa Puffs or any kind of sweet cereal in the house. We have found some good hiding spots. Katie is pretty clever and usually finds them. Then we are busted. There is another lecture. We have found the easiest thing to do is to eat the forbidden foods before she comes home and get rid of the evidence.
My Dad never went to my wedding in San Francisco, which was not that far away from his home in Alameda. He never explained to me why. I was married at Temple Emanuel. My husband is Jewish and he wanted to be married in a temple. Dad’s mother, Josephine, went to our wedding. His sister Sally and his nephew Kenny also went. I wished my Dad had said something. I could have been married in a Unitarian Church or even at City Hall if it disturbed him so much. Ironically my husband’s parents and family who live in New York at the last minute decided not to come to our wedding in San Francisco. The only Jewish people in the place was the rabbi and my husband. It was amazingly difficult for my Catholic family to come and experience a Jewish wedding. I applaud them for their courage. Grandma Jose came wearing her large gold cross of Jesus wearing his crown of thorns and ruby beads of blood. Aunt Sally also was wearing a large gold cross that could be seen a block away. They looked rather frightened and out of place. Thinking about it now I recited most of my wedding vows in Hebrew. It was quite strange. Grandma jumped when the glass was broken. I think that really bothered her. It made no sense to her breaking a perfectly good wine glass.
I was not told until a month ago that my Dad told everyone I was a heathen and a sinner because I had converted to Judaism. I never converted to anything. I have placed no labels on myself or my family. Since I don’t go to church regularly I would imagine I am not really a Roman Catholic anymore. I did not raise my children to follow any religion. I had hoped that when they became adults they would choose for themselves what path they would take. Only Katie seems to have chosen a path.
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