After the Party

If this is your first visit to this blog, skip this post now…quickly, before you change your mind and never come back. πŸ˜‰ Pictures in this post may have you running away, never to return.

Max had a big day yesterday. He partied hard, as you can see.


In the spirit of keeping it real, (are you tired of that phrase yet?) here’s how my kitchen looks today after running the dishwasher once and a good bit of hand-washing and “putting-up.”


I think you know what I’ll be doing today. I know this sounds crazy, but I actually love this part. I turn the music on and wash away. It gives me time to reflect on the party and to just relax and enjoy putting things back in order. Sick, I know.  But before I dig back in, I have to share a funny story from yesterday.

Party on the Titanic:
Shortly after everyone arrived, I suggested we heap our plates full of appetizers and head out onto the porch. There were 6 of us and we all settled down into the seating area on the porch. I pulled a chair over from the table so I could easily hop up to check on things, as needed.

Screened-in Porch Decorated for the 4th of July

Then it came…a monster of a storm. The winds were blowing, hurricane style. The rain was torrential and the thunder was unbelievable. This, my friend, was the type storm I always weather inside.

I kept wondering when the tornado warnings would sound. I had NEVER been on the porch during a storm like this. I’m usually hunkered down inside waiting it out. Remember those stories about how the band continued playing as the Titanic sank? My guests were unfazed and the party continued. I couldn’t believe it!

These HUGE gusts of wind kept coming and at one point it was as if someone had turned a soaker hose on me and another guest who was sitting in the wicker chair closest to the long row of screened windows. I was so shocked, I almost leapt out of my chair! My party guests hardly reacted and everyone continued to talk and party. What??? After I got over the shock of being soaked, it actually felt pretty good. It definitely cooled me down. lol

As Forrest would say, we had “sideways rain.” The sheers were whipping all around (that I’ve seen before) but at one time, the sheers closest to the table actually stood ALL THE WAY OUT at a 90 degree angle. We’re talking STRAIGHT out folks! I have never seen that, EVER…probably because I’m normally inside.

I’ve gone out on the porch the day after what I call “tornado storms” and noticed the porch floor and the table nearest the window covered with rain water, but never have I been sitting right beside the windows and table when it happened. What an experience!

These women were amazing! The wind and rain was so loud at times, we were practically shouting over the storm to talk. I kept saying, “If it gets too bad y’all, we can go inside.” Not one person ever said, let’s go in. Occasionally, someone would say, “Look at those trees!” The trees were whipping and flailing around like crazy! I know a tornado must have been passing nearby!

There wasn’t really any lightning, at least that I noticed, but the thunder was deafening. It was the most unusual start to a party, ever! When it was all over, which seemed like forever but was really only about 5-6 minutes, I grabbed a bunch of towels to wipe up the porch floor near the windows–not because it would hurt the floor, I just didn’t want anyone slipping or falling.

I will NEVER forget that moment on the porch, EVER! It was as if I said to my guests, “Hey, look a tornado is coming, let’s go party on the porch!”  πŸ™‚  It certainly cooled the evening off, though, and it quit raining right when we needed to actually cook out on the grill. Perfect!

During a party, my laundry room ends up being a “staging” and catch-all area. Here’s how it looks today. Yikes! I need to put a sign on the door, “Disaster Area…Keep Out!”


Sneaky way to use an old, container for a floral arrangement:

I’ve attempted to use this old, spatterware container in the past for floral arrangements, and I quickly found out the hard way that it leaks. I really wanted to use it for the sunflowers I included in THIS post and for my 4th of July party. The solution was so easy, I had to share it.


I just put the flowers into another pitcher that fit down into the spatterware pitcher. No leaking and noone would ever know. I had to spread the flowers apart to reveal it for this photo. Cool, huh?


What’s your funniest party story? Please share!

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  1. Hope u took storm pics!

  2. Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) says

    Lisa, I was too in shock. Wish I had, though!

  3. Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions says

    You know it was a good party, Susan, seeing your day after pictures! I can't believe you had a freak storm like that. It must have been something to see the sheers flying!

  4. Blondie's Journal says

    We had 26 guests for the entire weekend {they stayed at a motel, thank goodness} but my kitchen was a permanent disaster area, much like yours. Even with a ton of help, I had a big cleanup last night and as I was doing it, I actually felt good! There is a certain satisfaction in reliving the fun and knowing everyone had a good time.

    We had a horrendous storm also and made it off the lake just as the wind went wild and it rained "sideways"!!! Scary, but fun!


  5. Mikey @ Shabby French Cottage says

    I was on 295 in Hanover when that storm hit! We had to pull over because we couldn't see! It was CRAZY! I don't know if I have a party story to beat that one!

    ~Mikey @ Shabby French Cottage

  6. Sixpence and A Blue Moon says

    Oh…how I wish I could be more relaxed like you and like cleaning up after a dinner party. I have never liked the cleaning up part of cooking or entertaining.

    Sweet story.

  7. Anonymous says

    All I can think of is that when there;s thunder, lightening is not far away. This must be an entertaining group of friends LOL

  8. I like the post about your party and the keeping it real photos. At least your party will be remembered for many reasons. Everything was so festive I know each guest felt very special. I really need to find out what vitamins you take to have so much energy. Are you going to share the menu for the party? That would be great.

  9. Nita {ModVintageLife} says

    No one wanted to leave your porch because it looks like the most perfect 4th of July spot ever! I can see why they stayed out there even during the storm.

  10. Kelly (Seaux Southern) says

    Big messes usually means everyone had lots of fun! I remember a big thunderstorm that happened during a 4th of July celebration when I was younger. We still talk about it 40 years later!!

  11. Joan Ü says

    Yikes! Always scary to me when the wind is that intense. Glad you survived & no tornadoes came out of it.

    (By the way, I β™₯ Forrest!)
    — Joan Ü

  12. Mary @ Redo 101 says

    I'm glad y'all survived the storm, brave peeps! But what I want to know is: did they flip OUT over the porch decor?!?!

  13. Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) says

    Mary, it was hit! One of my best friends said it gave her chills when she walked out on the porch…that made my night! πŸ™‚ Thanks for asking! πŸ™‚

  14. Glenda/MidSouth says

    Wow! You must throw one great party! πŸ˜€
    I take cover fast here also – the storms here can go "bad" real fast.
    Glad it all worked out.

  15. I was going to say the same thing, where are the pictures of the storm? HA HA!

    You couldn't ask for better confirmation on how to throw the perfect party if no one wanted to leave the porch during the storm! You go girl!

    It looks like you had a blast!


  16. Amanda's Mom says

    What a great party story. That is the thing about life … it is those moments that are extraordinary that we remember rather than the perfectly smooth events. Also, my kitchen and sunroom have seen many a similar 'morning after' so, its all good.

  17. we three dogs and me says

    I haven't gone through a wind storm that bad but we did have a micro burst that pulled up trees and damaged a lot. We also had a ice storm that took down every telephone pole for miles up theSt Lawrence river. Many were without electricity for 13 days. the town was a mess with falling trees and one friend lost half her house during micro burst.We ate at the school as we had no heat.

  18. Barbara F. says

    Susan,I laughed at Mary@Redo 101's comment, since I know I wouldn't want to leave your porch even in a storm like that! Brave guests, though. xo,

  19. Darn…..wish I had been invited. All that lovely decor and a bunch of fun gals. Aren't we all just really wash and wear? Another wonderful memory to pull out and smile over whenever you like πŸ™‚

  20. Anita @ Cedar Hill Ranch says

    Too funny!! I too love to wash dishes after a party. I thought I was the only one. So glad to know it isn't a sign of illness. We have had such windy days on our back porch that a rocker was thrown 20 feet from the porch by a wind. Your guests sound like they were brave (or drunk!)

  21. Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) says

    Anita, the party had just started so definitely not drunk. However, the storm was enough to make everyone need a drink! πŸ™‚

  22. What a fun party-wish I was there!
    Loved that you showed us your kitchen after a party. It makes it all so real…real friends sharing real life.
    That means so much! Thanks for sharing!

  23. Dreaming Design says

    Looks like it was it was a great party & I love the story about the storm!

  24. Dorinda Selke says

    Susan – Your RWB Porch makeover is gorgeous! and Please post your tutorial of the beautiful American Flag! I have a very funny story from when my husband and I were first married (we now are married two months shy of 30 years). We had Father Martin, the priest who married us, over to our little third floor apartment for a steak dinner. We had a small porch on the front and my husband had a little grill out there. He was starting the grill and I was in the kitchen making the rest of the dinner and Father Vic as we called him was sitting in the kitchen with me. Suddenly I saw my husband go into our only bathroom and then carry out two dixie cups of water. He did this at least four or five times and had a sense of urgency on his face, but said nothing. Finally, on his next trip in, Father Vic and I said, Gary…what's the matter. Gary answered…Oh nothing…I just set all the newspapers on the porch and the side of the house on fire!! But it's out now!!! Thankfully we had a good laugh over a nice steak dinner and to this day, we still laugh about Gary's first grilling dinner party!!

  25. Michele/Ohio says


    You had me cracking up. You get the award, lady!

    GREAT post.

    I, too entertain often and love the quiet clean-up time – weird too, I know- and reflecting on how good it feels to have friends over, and how blessed we are to have friends, a lovely home and good food to share. BLESSED. That's how it feels when cleaning up.

    Though, to be honest, I would rather have a maid do it and sit down while getting a savory foot massage, but, well, hey maybe in another life, huh?

  26. Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) says

    Dorinda, that is funny! You got to make a lot of trips with Dixie cups! lol

  27. poppilinnstudios says

    Love the day after pictures! Some days my kitchen looks like that after my son and his friends decide to cook up a snack!

  28. Sue (Someone's Mom) says

    I'm trying to figure out how 6 people made such a big mess! I love hosting, planning and primping…but I hate the cleanup after. My husband is always a really big help with that part because he knows how much I dislike doing it!

  29. Sounds like an exciting party. I love a good summer storm as long as no one is hurt.

  30. Antiques And Teacups says

    Now THAT was indeed a tea to remember. Your ladies exhibited a Victorian dictum of manners…a lady is never surprised, anxious or worried. She displays a calmness at all times. Obviously Max was a good influence on all! Thanks for sharing…but I don't want one too!

  31. I love storms. My favorite time to go to the ocean is in the fall and winter when the storms are wild.
    However not so much when I have guests over. Yikes.

  32. Sounds like a fabulous group of guests and I'm certain this party will make great conversation for years to come.

    Wishing you a wonderful dry day!! xo HHL

  33. The most memorable parties or events, are often ones where nothing goes perfect! Sounds like you had fireworks (thunder) and then the water to put it out! Way to go in rolling with the punches…or should I say rolling with the storm!

  34. Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) says

    Toni, it was wild! πŸ™‚ After the storm, we had thunder and fireworks going in the neighborhood. One of my guests said it was hard to tell which was which sometimes. lol

  35. Susan don't you just love Texas weather. All your friends must be true Texan's to set throught that kind of weather. Short story we celebrate the 4th with dear friends and there families, We are all in a golf cart parade then have a picnic by the lake. The lodge were we live always has bingo in the cool building. One of those wonderful storms blew up everyone else continued to play bingo. As the one who always has to check out the storm I go outside. One of the family members went with me. The end result was he and I moved all the picnic food and whatever else we could carry. We went back in the bingo area soaking wet the rest of the group looked at us like we were crazy. There remarks were is it raining. Only in Texas could it be thundering and lighting and a hard rain and the bingo game continues. We had no rain storm this year first time in five years.
    Great decoration and woderful blog.

    Cathy's Calamity Cupboard
    At the other end of Texas

  36. I, too, love the cleaning up… It is like a little video in my mind as I pick up things and think about this plate in someone's hands and all the fun… Your day sounds memorable.. I can envision that beautiful porch with mists splashing over it like the decks of the Titanic.. Luckily it had a much happier ending… Hugs…

  37. What an amazing story. It was so dry and hot here that we might have welcomed a rain storm. LOL Not really because our party was outside.
    I laughed at the photos of your kitchen. Our kitchen looked much the same. My sweet husband helped me wash dishes last night, and I spent most of the day putting things away.

  38. The French Tangerine says

    What a great post.. total entertainment!
    You are a comedian!

  39. Oh Susan, We are in the midst of winter here in NZ and nasty weather is all we seem to get at the moment. It's so good that you still managed to get a good party going. Does my small earthquake of 2.9, top your thunder storm? No probably not, no excitement in an earthquake where as I love a good storm.

    Like you I love a good clean up after a party. The sense of achievement once it's all ship shape again is brilliant. I must admit my hubby is great at helping with clean up too.

    The porch looks just gorgeous in the new colours.


  40. Love "The American Porch" the book on the swing and yours, thru the storms.

  41. Ivy and Elephants says

    What a great story! It sounds like you guys had a wonderful 4th…storm and all. Nothing like a little nature at the party.


  42. Sounds like a great party. Your party decorations for the fourth of July on the porch looked so pretty, I'm sure you'll hate to put them away. I looked at your kitchen pics and instantly shared your feeling of accomplishment of knowing everything turned out good, everyone had a great time. Whewwww! I can rest now.
    Thanks for sharing

    The French Hutch

  43. You're braver than me. I would have left my guests and ran inside. Too funny. When I saw the photo of your cat I had to do a double take. Looks just like one of our cats, Bessie. Really, they could be twins. So enjoy reading your blog.

  44. Susan, I, too, love the day after a party when I have a mountain of dishes and partyware to put away! What's wrong with us? I just love playing with these things one more time before they are put away, and relieving the details of the party. To me, it's a way of stretching an event even further!

    • Maria, I was just reading the comments again on this post and wanted to say that’s exactly how I feel. Love holding and playing with them all again before I put them away…and reliving the party.

  45. Anonymous says

    I loved your post, but what caught my eye was your pretty kitchen ( I can look right past stuff on the counter for a party) and that beautiful red Kitchen Aid mixer. lol

  46. Anonymous says

    I loved the whole post, but what caught my eye was your pretty kitchen and that red Kitchen Aid mixer! lol

  47. Kathryn Griffin says

    Loved hearing about your party! I'm a little jealous of your rain. We're in the middle of a drought here in Houston, TX. I'm with you on the cleaning up. Very therapeutic!

  48. Susan (My Place to Yours) says

    Susan, your mess looks so familiar — but if you're "sick" for enjoying the clean-up, you're not alone! That time of reflection and quiet after the "busy" of party prep is one of my favorite things! My biggest disappointment at my daughter's wedding was walking back into the reception after the kids left — and seeing that a "helpful" someone had already started stripping the beautiful tables of their flowers, linens, and the dirty dishes that say "we partied here — and we had FUN!" …Now THAT might be sick. πŸ™‚

    Also familiar: the vase (or glass jar) in a leaky pitcher trick. I do that all the time with a favorite old ironstone pitcher! Who knew?

  49. Betty Mae says

    Thank you so much for sharing the aftermath of your party. It is so coforting. When I entertain, it always looks as though "the devil had a fit" in the behind the scenes area.

  50. I "feel your pain!" We had the very same storm in Virginia..twenty weekend house guests!!!" Good thing I LIKE to iron…it's been two days so far and counting. franki

  51. ~Tablescapes By Diane~ says

    Hi lovely lady.
    I love your story about the storm sweet lady. Look at it this way you had your family and friends with you sweet lady. I hope you have a Great Day.
    xxoo Diane

  52. FABBY'S LIVING says

    Seeing the after pics, you all had a nice party…I would've at your house too! I can just imagin all the yummy stuff you cooked! Glad the weather turned up just in time!! Yeah, I know what you mean, I'm also sick, I love to fix my house, wash and put away things with some music on and a smile on my face, thinking back to all the fun we had and how good it all came out! Thanks for sharing, loved it!!
    Lots of hugs, FABBY

  53. SugarRae says

    Awe! It sounded like a wonderful party! What a tribute to the 4th of July! A little "weather" won't stop a good party!
    One time a few years ago we were hosting my birthday party (in a winter snowstorm) and the power went out. The candles from my cake were sufficient to keep the room plenty lit! (-:

  54. SugarRae says

    Awe–that sounds like the best 4th of July party ever! Sorry I missed it! A good party never lets "weather" interfere with the fun.
    One time we were hosting my birthday party in the middle of a big snowstorm and the power went out! Let's just say that the light from my birthday cake candles was sufficient to light the room up!
    Congratulations on a successful party and wonderful friends to party with!

  55. We had a storm blow in toward the end of the cookout we attended on the fourth, too. It was no where as dramatic as yours.

    Max is ADORABLE. Give him a hug from me and my furbaby, Dolly.

  56. Susan, in Florida some people have a hurricane party, not me, you just had a tornado party! LOL

  57. Followed the link from today’s post (awww Max). So, does everyone still talk about that stormy party? I have a great fear of lightening; I would have been the one inside, um, pre-tidying up.

    • I know, I miss him so much. When I see old pics in posts, I just want to cry. I hope I see him again one day. Somewhere.
      Yeah, it was definitely a night to remember! Next time, I’ll just MAKE everyone go inside until it passes. lol They would not budge but that was downright dangerous!

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