Posted by: marymarthatours | November 18, 2012

Weather Alert for the Upper Midwest

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, and I totally enjoy fixing all the traditional foods and having my children and grandchildren all sit down together to enjoy them. This year we will be especially blessed, because my sister Martha and her husband Collie will be joining us for Thanksgiving in Minnesota.

The lure isn’t our mother’s recipes for turkey stuffing and pumpkin pie – both of which will be on the menu. What brings them east from Washington State is the Alphonse Mucha exhibition at the National Czech and Slovak Museum in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. As I mentioned in an earlier blog, this wonderful small museum honoring the Czech and Slovak immigrants to America, has reopened after the disastrous floods of 2008. To celebrate the reopening, the Museum has mounted an amazing exhibition of the work of Czech Art Nouveau artist Alphonse Mucha, the largest ever in the United States.


The National Czech & Slovak Museum, Cedar Rapids, IA

Collie, a descendant of Slovak immigrants to Pennsylvania, is very excited about seeing the moved and enlarged museum, and both he and Martha are big fans of Alphonse Mucha. Since the Mucha Exhibition will close at the end of December, they are forced to travel to Minnesota in November with its possibilities for cold and snow.

Everyone who lives in the southern Minnesota and northern Iowa region ought to consider this a weather warning, as Collie and Martha seem to travel with unusual weather powers. As Collie says, they “gather up the moisture (of western Washington) and distribute it elsewhere”.

In other words, they bring rain, snow, and floods wherever they go! Two years ago they brought a blizzard with them when they visited their son Nick and his family in the Philadelphia area at Christmastime. 


Morris Arboretum, Philadelphia, December 2010

They came to Minnesota for my husband Jesse’s 75th birthday celebration in July, 2011. Fortunately for us, they left Rochester to do their climactic dirty deed on a short trip to Iowa and Galena, IL. The night they stayed in Galena, the town had 13” of rain, sending the Galena River over its banks.


Collie at the flooding Galena River, July 2011

And this year, they extended their weather range to York, England. Collie joined Martha there at the conclusion of our England in Miniature Tour in September. They spent two wonderful weeks exploring the marvelous city of York, but not until after they started their stay with what one British Environmental Agency employee called, “unprecedented levels of rainfall”, causing flooding throughout North Yorkshire.


The Ouse River flooding in York, England, September 2012

I’m thrilled to have my sister and brother-in-law here for Thanksgiving, but, just in case, I’m getting out my winter boots and warming up the snow blower.

(by Mary)



  1. Thanks for the warning! We are going to Davenport for the weekend and plan to stop in CR on the way. Hope the weather holds until we get home!

  2. We could do with a little rain in Arizona; maybe Collie and Martha should visit us! Have a happy Thanksgiving Mary.

  3. Very interesting…I’ll watch the news!! Are you considering/planning a quilt tour to Birmingham in Aug. 2013? Thank you!!!! Ann

    • Ann, Thanks for your comment. We will have a Quilt-focused tour in 2013, but it will not include the Birmingham Show in early August. Our tour will take place in September 2013 and will spend time in the Cotswords, Wales, Bath, and London. Full information about the tour will be posted on the blog in early December. Mary

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