ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Ephraim Dustmopp, Elder of the Kleene Clan

Updated on November 19, 2011
Ephraim Dustmopp, Elder of the Kleene Clan
Ephraim Dustmopp, Elder of the Kleene Clan | Source

This is Ephraim’s most enjoyable time of day.

The cows have all been milked, silage stowed away, geese penned, mare brushed down, tractor rinsed of manure and mud, chickens settled down for the evening, piglets happily snuffling in their wallow, and Ol’ Blue curled drowsily beneath his master’s rough-shod feet. Ephraim is a picture of calm and contentment.

The sole hanging kerosene lantern hisses its fragrant yellow glow in an inviting sphere at the center of the cabin’s large central room. Bubbling gently atop the cast iron wood-burner along the rear wall is a battered tin basin of well water awaiting some freshly peeled potatoes fetched from the root cellar by Emily, the youngest. The wonderfully savory scent of a simple stew of roast chicken with fresh baby carrots is beginning to fill the cabin interior. Soon the boys will be returning from the Fletcher’s spread down the road, bursting through the door all ruddy cheeked and dusty, and slapping black felt hats at one another playfully.

Ephraim’s favorite place in all of this glorious earthly kingdom is the sturdy ladder-back caned chair placed before the massive red cedar planking — a tabletop hewn by his own hands some decades past, and perched atop homemade trestles of pine. Each evening, he methodically packs a bowl of his own field-grown and shed-dried variant of Captain Earle’s Ten Russians tobacco blend. Slowly licking the top of the bowl with the flame from a sturdy wooden kitchen match, he will stoke a full and glowing steady burn. Then, bringing the spigot of his elongated Dunhill shell briar ceremonially to his waiting lips, he will savor the first full relaxing mouthful of the evening.

This is a parental ritual that the surrounding eleven children of Dustmopp heritage have dutifully and silently observed virtually every single evening through the years. (There were two consecutive evenings when the normal routine was thrown a-kilter by the massive blizzard of ’04; Ephraim, spouse and eldest worked feverishly into the night digging heifers out of 14-foot snow drifts, and didn’t return to the cabin until near dawn, soaked and frozen and exhausted.)

The Dustmopp family represents but one branch of the Kleene clan widely spread throughout Lancaster County’s Mennonite population. (Ephraim met young Klara Kleene, pretty and pert, and stole a first tentative kiss from her, at a long ago barn-raising in coincidentally–named Kissel Hill.) Members of the Kleene clan are known not only for their fastidious personal and familial habits — they have some of the most meticulously maintained farmsteads ever known to rural agriculture in America — but also for the fact that many of their daughters serve as housekeepers, laundresses and charwomen for most of the McMansions peppered by non-Mennonites across southeastern Pennsylvania over recent decades.

In fact, five of Ephraim’s lovely daughters — Ena, Erwina, Edeline, Ethelda, Elrica, (and, soon enough, Emily, too) — have for a number of years tended the 13,000 square foot hilltop manse of Todd Vukovnik, the billionaire teenage creator of that phenomenally successful digital app, Angry Amish.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • rickzimmerman profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Thanks, P7! Glad to have you watching & reading.

    • Paradise7 profile image


      6 years ago from Upstate New York




    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)