[caption id="attachment_68553" align="alignleft" width="600"]<img src="https:\/\/pocahontastimes.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/sites\/25\/2020\/07\/DSC_0654.jpg" alt="" width="600" height="905" class="size-full wp-image-68553" \/> OWNER\u2008Leslie McLaughlin relaxes in The Cackling Hens\u2019 new nest. With nearly twice the space as the original shop, McLaughlin said customers can walk around and see things much more easily. Although she\u2019s just moved in, the new place has a lived-in, homey feeling \u2013 and a cornucopia of vintage treasures. L.D. Bennett photo[\/caption]\r\n\r\nLaura Dean Bennett\r\nStaff Writer\r\n\u00a0\r\nWhen The Cackling Hens first opened on Main Street in December 2016, there were two hens operating the re-sale\/consignment shop \u2013 Brenda Miller and Leslie McLaughlin.\r\n\r\nMiller and McLaughlin met when they were both working in Dr. Soriano\u2019s office \u2013 Miller as receptionist and McLaughlin as an LPN.\r\n\r\nWhen Miller eventually left to \u201ctake a real job with benefits,\u201d McLaughlin kept pecking away, and now, she\u2019s spread her wings.\r\n\r\nThe new coop is located on Third Avenue right across from City National Bank and next door to the Opera House,\u00a0and it comes with plenty of free-ranging space.\r\n\r\nIt may be a new location, but it\u2019s still the hens\u2019 house \u2013 filled with treasures and intriguing each customer as they enter.\r\nA lady steps through the door and looks around admiringly for a moment before approaching McLaughlin.\r\n\r\n\u201cJust answer me one question,\u201d she begins. \u201cHow did you get all of this in your other shop?\u201d\r\n\r\nIt\u2019s not a bad question.\u00a0\r\n\r\nThe building she\u2019s leasing now \u2013 the former home of the DirtBean \u2013 just feels so much larger, and it\u2019s already furnished with a variety of beautiful things.\r\n\r\n\u201cWell,\u201d McLaughlin said, \u201cfor a long time I thought I had plenty of room. After all, we had three rooms filled with inventory \u2013 about 1,200 square feet. \r\n\r\n\u201cBut we were getting a little crowded. This shop is about twice that size.\r\n\r\n\u201cAnd I really love the way everything\u2019s coming together in here. \u00a0We have so much more display area. We can really spread out.\u00a0Customers can walk around and see things so much more easily,\u201d she added.\r\n\r\nThe new roost may not feature any real-live chickens, but there\u2019s still a lot to crow about.\r\n\r\nEverywhere one looks there\u2019s something interesting to study \u2013 something pretty to catch the eye.\r\n\r\nThe shop has a lived-in, homey feeling.\u00a0\r\n\r\n\u201cI like older, vintage things \u2013 a lot of antiques,\u201d McLaughlin said. \u201cI try to find the unique and different \u2013 things with a little bit of character.\r\n\r\n\u201cI love old metal \u2013 wrought iron and cast iron, and I really like furniture.\r\n \r\n\u201cI expect I\u2019ll have more furniture in here now that I have the room for it.\r\n\r\n\u201cI\u2019m partial to oak,\u201d she said, as I admired the beautiful oak dining table on display in the front of the shop.\r\n\r\n\u201cAnd I love Depression-era furniture, vintage table cloths and glassware,\u201d she said.\u00a0\r\n\r\n\u201cI like birds and Roseville pottery. There\u2019s usually some of that here.\u201d\r\n\r\nThere\u2019s a gorgeous antique covered cheese dish, a Hoosier cabinet and a rack featuring a few specialty items of clothing.\r\n\r\nThe space still has lots of room, but it seems there will never come a time when there won\u2019t be more treasures on the way.\r\n\r\n\u201cI go to sales and auctions all the time,\u201d McLaughlin said. \u201cI do buyouts, and I even shop online.\r\n\r\n\u201cI\u2019d rather do buyouts than consignments \u2013 it\u2019s just simpler. So I own most everything here, although there is some merchandise from a few consigners.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u00a0\r\n\u201cUsually, I\u2019ll travel about a couple of hours away from home. There are lots of trips to Lexington, Harrisonburg, Staunton and Buchanan.\u00a0\r\n \r\n\u201cAnd whenever I visit my parents, I\u2019ll always bring something home,\u201d she added.\r\n\r\nMcLaughlin grew up in farm country, in Tioga, Pennsylvania \u2013 about 20-to-30 miles from Corning, New York \u2013 where her mom and dad, John and Sheila Kilmer, still live.\r\n\r\n\u201cMy mom and dad have a lot of beautiful things,\u201d McLaughlin said fondly. \u201cSometimes I find things in their house that they\u2019re willing to part with.\r\n\r\n\u201cDad\u2019s a real pack rat, so there\u2019s always something worth finding there.\u00a0I just have to persuade them to let me have it,\u201d she said with a smile.\r\n\r\nLeslie and her husband, Roger McLaughlin, a heavy equipment operator, live on Knapps Creek between Minnehaha Springs and Frost.\u00a0\r\n\r\nTheir home is furnished in what McLaughlin calls flea market chic.\r\n\r\n \r\n\u201cMy dream d\u00e9cor would actually be more Shaker style \u2013 very simple and clean,\u201d she laughed.\r\n\r\n\u201cRoger\u2019s really my right-hand-man. He\u2019s the best helper I could ever have.\u00a0 Whenever he\u2019s not working, he\u2019s helping me.\r\n\r\n\u201cI couldn\u2019t do this without him,\u201d she said earnestly.\r\n\r\n\u201cHe likes to go junkin\u2019 and searching for interesting items with me.\u201d\r\n\r\nLeslie met Roger when they were both working for Daniel\u2019s Construction in Ogden, Utah.\r\n\r\n\u201cWe decided to get married, and he dragged me back here to Pocahontas County where he grew up,\u201d McLaughlin laughed.\r\n\r\n\u201cYou know what they say about West Virginia boys.\r\n\r\n\u201cThey may leave for a while, but they always come home.\r\n\r\n\u201cBut, he didn\u2019t really have to drag me. I loved it here right away.\u00a0\r\n\r\n\u201cI was a country girl, so I felt right at home.\u201d\r\n\r\nMcLaughlin said she enjoys visiting with everyone who comes into the shop.\r\n\r\n\u201cAnd I get to play around with beautiful things,\u201d she added.\r\n\r\nIf a customer is looking for something in particular, McLaughlin will try to find it.\u00a0\r\n \r\nIn a business like McLaughlin\u2019s, there\u2019s always the need to store a few things.\r\n\r\nThe back of the new location is perfect for that and for doing touch-ups and repairs.\r\n\r\nThat is where McLaughlin\u2019s friend, Jane Poundstone-Sharp, comes in.\r\n\r\nShe helps McLaughlin turn old and used into refurbished and ready for a new home.\u00a0\r\n\r\n\u201cJane is so handy!\u201d McLaughlin said.\r\n\r\n\u201cShe\u2019s an excellent seamstress, and she\u2019s so creative. she can fix anything. She really knows her way around a screwdriver.\u201d\r\n\r\nTom Shipley from Sharp\u2019s Country Store strolls in and takes a tour around the shop.\r\n\r\n\u201cI like to come in and look around,\u201d he said.\r\n\r\n\u201cLeslie\u2019s always got good stuff \u2013 she has a good eye.\u201d \r\n\r\nAlthough COVID-19 did ruffle The Cackling Hens\u2019 feathers, apparently, you can\u2019t keep a good hen down.\r\n\r\n\u201cI closed down the shop on March 18 and re-opened May 13, so you could say the virus affected me momentarily,\u201d McLaughlin said.\r\n\r\n\u201cBut we\u2019re back now, and business is good.\u00a0\r\n\r\n\u201cI love my job.\r\n\r\n\u201cI could spend 12 hours a day here.\r\n\r\n\u201cI walk into the shop in the morning and say, \u2018Thank you, God. I am so grateful I get to come to work here!\u2019\u201d\r\n\r\nThe Cackling Hens is open Wednesday - Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.