Thursday, October 7, 2010

A Simple Heritage of True Greatness

Aunt Hallie shares her love With Greg, Jeanifer, and Michael

Hallie Smith, better known as Aunt Hallie, is somewhat of an iconic figure in our family. I never had the privilege of knowing Aunt Hallie, she had already gone home to the Father before I came into the Caldwell family; but it didn't take long for me to realize what an impact she had on those who knew her. As a new bride, in a new family; I eagerly soaked up Caldwell family traditions, time and time again they were traced back to none other than our dear Aunt Hallie! There is not a family gathering that one of Aunt Hallie's famous dishes is not made, or a memory or thought is not shared; and although I didn't personally know her, I feel so privileged to hear the memories that she left behind.
Recently Michael and I inherited a table from his Grandfather's estate. It is a beautifully made table; simple and elegant, with a few love dents on top, but otherwise in very good condition. When the table first came to us we didn't know much about it, other than at some point it belonged to our beloved Aunt Hallie. About a month after the table came to our home, a newspaper clipping was passed along to us. A picture of our Aunt Hallie graces the front,  holding a quilt from the year 1860, and an article highlighting her love and compassion that she so willingly gave to those around her.
The article titled "Cornerstones: People in our lives" is as follows,

"Miss Hallie Smith, who was 86 last week, is seen in the photo above with a quilt a sister of her grandmother made in 1860.Hallie's sister showed the "Drunkard Path" pattern quilt in the art show at the State Fair of Texas in 1934 and won a first-place blue ribbon. The youngest of seven children, Hallie was born in Nevada, Texas, in 1901 and lived there until she moved to Royse City fie years ago. Even though Hallie fell in love several times, she was always too busy taking care of sick people to marry. Hallie not only took care of people, she always took care of things. She is still using the bed and dresser her mother had when she married in 1883. Her dining table belonged to her grandmother and grandfather in the early 1800's and the furniture is in like new condition. Hallie said, "Everthing is alright with me, I'm just as happy as I can be, and I love my home here in Royce City." She added that person can do anything in the world if they try hard enough." By Jan Peoples

There is no doubt in my mind that Aunt Hallie was a vivacious woman, through out her entire life. She had a great knowledge for the blessings in her life and respect for all things, living and non-living.

I feel so overwhelmed when I begin to think of the food, joy, study, love, and sorrow, that was shared around the table, this 200+ year old table; the very table I sit at this instant. What great responsibility to pass on this legacy; the legacy of love, of care, and of greatness that has been poured out around this old wood.

To anyone else this is probably just an old table and a small yellowed  piece of insignificance, but to me and those that knew or long to know Aunt Hallie they bring to light the true greatness of Christ love. A love which touched the life of a truly great woman, whose legacy continues to teach a tremendous life lesson; to those who choose to embrace it.


  1. Great job Audra! You did a fabulous job of capturing My thoughts and feelings of Aunt Hallie and the lessons she taught us. She was such an example of love and spirit-lots of spirit. I know she would have loved you and is smiling down on us all.

  2. Thanks for sharing that, Audra! I wish I'd known her, too, I hope our Hallie soaks up the stories about her!

  3. Thanks Jen, I'm glad you enjoyed it! Love you!! And Ann, I almost mentioned Hallie in the blog, I have no doubt in my mind that Hallie Grace is and will continue to fully embrace the spirit of selflessness for which she was named. Oh, and I love you too!!! :)