Labor Day weekend found almost 60 Hall’s, descendants of the first Samuel Hall himself, gathered at Tuckaleechee Retreat Center in Townsend, TN for the ??th annual Halls in the Hills. Our surroundings were breathtaking, the food was plentiful and nicely filled with calories, and the company full of laughter. These reunions are like no other, with people being absolutely cutthroat at game time, and then tearful and reverent an hour later during the worship time that highlights the weekend. We missed last year’s, since the newest Samuel Hall was born the very day of the reunion, so we were especially glad to see everyone this time. Every year brings changes in the group–deaths, births, and marriages, but these Hall’s are an embracing group, gathering in anyone who will claim them. I officially claimed them just over nine years ago, and I’m honored to be a member of this amazing family.
This year made new memories just like every year. How fun it was to watch our three oldest playing with Clay’s cousin Michelle’s two kiddos, Kyle and Ava. The four oldest of the group–Kyle, Abigail, Ava, and Catherine–are just stairsteps in age, and they played so well together all weekend, even allowing two little tagalongs when Elisabeth and little Eliza wanted to play. It was also fun to watch Bennett and Samuel, the two newest Hall’s (although not for long, since the next one is due at the end of September) explore the cabin, the front porch, and each other. We rejoiced with Derek and Melissa, Bennett’s parents, at the announcement that their family would be expanding soon, and we marveled at the grace and strength of Becky and Glenda, who are both still freshly navigating life without their husbands. We tried a dip in the pool, found it a little chilly, and wound up in the hot tub instead–Michelle and me, plus about 7 or 8 children! There was singing, game-playing, game-watching, and smore’s made with Reese’s cups.
Our family was one of the first to say good-bye, since we needed to be home Sunday evening, but we still had a great time. Plans are already being made for next year, and Lord willing, we’ll be there with bells on. Thanks, Halls, for a great weekend!!