It was a hot July night

It’s not unusual for July to be hot. and it’s not unusual for us to talk about it….sometimes even a complaint or two.

The weather doesn’t usually hinder our plans and we may  not give it much thought. It’s July and it’s hot……..to be expected.

A dear friend, with a July birthday, must be celebrated, no matter the temperature.


With festive plans and a quick, but fail proof menu, the day arrived.

I had two hours after getting into town to get to the grocery store, get home, start the meal, decorate and freshen up the house and myself. After a 4 hour drive, I hit the ground running, not a second to waste.

I shopped at Dollar Tree earlier in the week for an Hawaiian theme party. It’s amazing what $13 will buy to create a little atmosphere.


The menu involved a rotisserie chicken from the deli. Don’t judge me!  They are really delicious. And the birthday girl really loves them..wink wink….she really does.

And an all fresh Hawaiian fruit salad with a drizzle of honey, lemon juice and ginger. Recipe compliments of Trisha Yearwood.

Add baked potatoes, baked zucchini topped with parmesan cheese and hot rolls and you have a meal just right for a hot, July night. Oh yea, a turtle cream pie for dessert  was thawing to top off the meal.

Wine and cheese ready for a birthday toast and let the party begin. Watching the clock, Mr. Finely Done and I were frantically working to pull it all together. We saw we had thirty minutes left…….. Potatoes in the microwave, zucchini in the oven, fruit salad made, (thank you best husband ever) wine and cheese on the bar…rolls waiting their turn in the oven…….I’m decorating at an unheard of speed for me..check, check, check, check  and check.




At about now, we’re almost patting our selves on the back. No one could pull this off, but us. We leave the rest of them in the dust. Mr. and Mrs. Finely Done are a team to be reckon with.  We are the best. Let’s hear it for our team.



Until……………………………..you knew this was coming didn’t you??

Our of nowhere, the sky opened up and dumped buckets, buckets and more buckets of rain. It was thundering, it was lightening. There was wind, sideways rain and gully washing rain, covering the yard where thirty minutes ago the sprinklers were  giving the parched grass relief from the hot sun. The birthday girl called to get an update on the weather and as we were talking, the lights flickered and then just like that…….the power was off. No microwave, no oven no coffee pot to brew coffee to have with desert and…………………………………. no air conditioning.

Oh well, the lights will come back on any minute now. Right? Nope that’s not the way that hot, July night was meant to be.


When the guest of honor and hubby arrived, the rain was still coming down and the electricity was not back on. I found candles to help with the lightening. She has to see the decorations. I hoped the potatoes and zucchini had cooked enough. The outdoor grill would warm the rolls ( and give the bottoms a nice black  brown toasty crunch)





The meal by candlelight was perfect. It made her birthday celebration a never to be forgotten memory. Four hours later the party reluctantly ended. Watching our guests leave, a high five was in order. We pulled it off. The lights of their car faded and we closed the door to our still dark foyer. It’s not about what you did or didn’t do, it’s not about what went right or wrong….It’s about the warmth of the friendship shared that hot, July night.


PS. The electricity came back on at midnight.