Bufka farm has historical significance and personal meaning
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wife and I have been fortunate to enjoy the beginning of spring in three
different places. In mid-March we saw the first daffodils while visiting our
daughter and family in Maryland.
Back here in Michigan
we had several warm days in March that pushed spring forward. Then we visited
friends in Oklahoma
at the end of March and early April to see redbud trees in bloom there. In late
April and early May back in Maryland we looked in awe at the many large azaleas
with their shades of pink red, white,
and purple, not just the small purple azaleas here in Michigan.
I write this on Mothers’ Day I am also thinking of my roots and Mom who had a
saying for everything. One of those sayings was “you can take the boy out of
the country but you can’t take the country out of the boy.” I never liked this
saying because I thought of the stereotypical country boy as unsophisticated
and lacking in social graces.
see I grew up on a self-sufficient farm in Leelanau County.
is affectionately known as the “Land
of Delight” and the “Little finger of Michigan”, northwest of Traverse City. I am the only one of six sons
who left the rural living of northern Michigan
but I still have those country roots. I am thrilled when I smell the earth
being prepared for planting as we drive by farms in the area. When we first
moved to Midland
in 1972 we did have a garden in the back yard of our house until the trees
provided too much shade for anything to grow well. I still get the itch to get
outside and dig in the little dirt we have around our condo but I easily resist
the urge. The extent of our gardening now is buying a hanging plant for the
front porch and a couple plants for the back patio. They satisfy my farm
Bufka farm holds many memories and I love to visit it but it has more than personal
appeal. I remember many tourists would stop and take pictures. A local artist
painted a scene of the farm buildings. A picture of the barn has appeared in
numerous publications and Michigan
calendars over the years. Unfortunately it is no longer the family farm since
it was included in the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Fortunately for
you it is now available for everyone to enjoy. Although there is no official
visitation or guides now at the farm it is very accessible with a Park permit.
You can plan a visit and tour the farm on site by going to http://www.nps.gov/slbe/planyourvisit/bufkafarm.htm
Lakeshore wrote in a report that “The Bufka farmstead, on the west-side of M-22,
is an excellent example of a well-preserved complete farmstead…. The site is
architecturally significant because of the type, style, number and condition of
the farm buildings…. The Bufka farm is individually eligible for the Register.
The level of significance is undetermined but is likely to be more than local.”
country instinct I have is for lumber. I can smell a lumber yard a mile before
we can see it. My wife thinks that cosmetics companies should produce an eau de
pine perfume for the ladies in the lives of people like me! I still get excited
when we walk down the lumber aisle of Home Depot or Lowe’s. Thirty years ago I
spent a lot of time at Nehil’s.
memory of Mom I share another saying of hers. She grew up across from Kentucky in Madison, Indiana on the Ohio River
and she loved to play euchre. She would
remind her sons that they would hang you in Kentucky if you got euchred on a lone hand.
I have always been grateful for not living in Kentucky as I have been euchred more than
once on a lone hand!
in this spring of new life with memories of my roots I salute Mom and all
mothers for their love and careful rearing with wise sayings. These are being
handed down to my daughter and grandson to add to their memories.