It is a once a year event for the Dent sisters and this year they couldn’t quite wait for the designated day of spring before packing bags and heading out to a scheduled destination and an extended weekend at an area lake cabin.
Not quite ready to divulge which direction they are heading, six of the eight children of Bobbie (Furlow) and Norman Dent are leaving behind husbands, kids, grandkids and extended family for a twentieth year adventure together. The half-dozen sisters are Vickie Raymond (Kilgore/Liberty City area), Jeanette Miller (Diana), Rachel Hill, (North Richland Hills), Becky Rose (Keller) Lilmah Wyatt (Kilgore) and Kellie Granberry from Mountain City.
“We actually have numerous family events throughout the year,” said Vickie, oldest of the siblings. “This 3- or 4-day weekend is just about sisters. We leave behind our families, put away our phones and electronic devices and spend the time renewing our bonds,” she said. “We are tight-knit and close. We love, fuss, cuss, fight, make-up, laugh and love some more. Each of us is pretty strong-willed, so it sometimes gets interesting.”
“And most of us are pretty conservative, with a couple who are not, and it makes for interesting conversation and points of view. We have very different life-styles, but we are all very family-oriented,” continued Vickie. “We have supported each other through divorces, deaths, including our own parents in 2006 and 2012, deaths of our in-laws and a nephew/son, cancer diagnosis, major health events for self or loved ones and the joys of grandbabies, new marriages and successes of our children and grandchildren.”
The Dent sisters have their get-away trip down to a science, pairing up in twos and rotating turns for securing the next location and making the primary plans for the trip. A random drawing determines who is responsible for each meal including a “snack” person. At least two plan and bring craft items usually centered around Easter or planting for the spring season and they play numerous, silly games frequently developed by Kellie.
“Many of the games are designed to make us recall moments from our youth including things we remember about each other and what we perceive to be others’ choice in music food, etc. We tell and re-tell stories,” she laughed. “Not to forget mentioning all of the facials, pedicures, hair styling and coloring that take place while away. And, yes, we take lots of funny photos promising none are for public use.” The sisters have also gone through the gamut of printed T-shirts and coffee mugs to commemorate their trip.
Not all fun, the gals have met up with some odds in the past like having one of their guest cabins being nice but located in a bad neighborhood such as could be found in the movie Deliverance. Banding together, they avoided going outside as much as possible and went in pairs in their cars. They also had another house surrounded by beautiful trees, but absolutely no curtains on the windows. They now are known to pack curtains and spring-loaded rods.
Locations for the sister weekend have included Martin Creek, Caddo, Lake Whitney, Cedar Creek, Lake Tawakoni, Lake Fork and Holly Lake. The girls also claim that now their ages have reached 58-72, so have their personal needs and instead of the primitive one room cabins where they toted in all supplies, etc. they have graduated to more upscale, multiple bedroom, multi-level fully furnished and nicely appointed weekend get-aways even though they still prefer the isolation of the lakeside.
The Dent sisters have two brothers, Norman, Jr. “Ned” who lives in Harleton, and Steven who lives in Grovetown, GA. “They attend family functions, but steer clear of ‘the sisters’ whenever possible,” laughed Vickie.
Your secret is kept, ladies, have fun and may your twentieth “camp-out” be the best one yet.
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