News

The Plaid Pig

by Don Meyer, Ph.D. | February 18, 2012
“The power of quotation is as dreadful a weapon as any which the human intellect can forge.”
John Jay Chapman

The oldest part of the old farmhouse where Evie and I live was built somewhere around 1850.  Even during our first visit we noticed the thick stone walls with the deep window sills creating, as Evie says, “Each one is a decorating possibility.”

Long before we moved in about 15 years ago we have loved antiques.   And we love antiquing.  Over the years we have loved making intentional trips to quaint old shops or taking detours off the beaten paths to discover yet one more old treasure.  And a big old farmhouse is a wonderful place for such finds.

Each room of our big old house captures memories of those excursions.  Over 35 years ago in Cleveland, OH we found a table lamp in a furniture store made of well-used woodworking tools including a draw knife, clamp, hand drill, plane, chisel, and a little lantern.  Each time we look at that lamp we remember the day we made that unique discovery.

From the dry sink we bought in Stillwater, MN to the wooden bowls in Lancaster, PA and from the old book shelf we found in New Jersey to the little table which Evie saw discarded along a road here in Phoenixville, each one has a story.

One of the great local places to find such treasures is The Plaid Pig. This quaint shop was born when Diane, the owner, combined two of her favorite things…pigs and shopping.  There you find “old world charm and modern appeal rooted in a history rich 1825 fieldstone farmhouse.  Located in Pughtown, PA, a station stop on the historic Delaware River and Lancaster Railroad known locally as the Sowbelly Railroad…a perfect place for The Plaid Pig.” 

In places like that I love the sayings and quotes which are all over the store.  Evie and I smile at the ones on marriage like these: We may not have it all together but together we have it all.  We always hold hands: if I let go, she shops.  If it’s not burned, it came from somebody else’s oven.  My husband and I have different religions; he thinks he’s God and I don’t.  

Others just seem to bounce around on just about any topic and while Evie looks at this or that, I like to write down the quotes.  Enjoy the little things because one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.  Mirror, mirror on the wall I am my mother after all.  If it weren’t for the last minute, I wouldn’t get anything done.  It’s hard to be optimistic when your fat pants are tight.  Lord, give me the strength to deal with all the idiots that cross my path.  I’m so miserable without you; it’s like having you here.  

Over the years we have found numerous treasures at The Plaid Pig.  Just inside our front door is a wooden cabinet with exquisite carvings in the doors which came from there.  And it is there that we always buy our two tickets to participate in the fundraiser for the Brandywine Hospital called Chester County Day, held the first Saturday in October.  But I think I like the quotes I find there as much as just about anything.

Not everyone shares my love for quote collecting as someone said, “He wrapped himself in quotations as a beggar would enfold himself in the purple of Emperors.”

I can identify with Robert Byrne’s words, though, who said, “Collecting quotations is an insidious, even embarrassing habit, like ragpicking or hoarding rocks or trying on other people’s laundry.  I got into it originally while trying to break an addiction to candy.  I lacked candy and now seem to be stuck with quotations, which are attacking my brain instead of my teeth.”  

The Plaid Pig…a great place for antiques or quotes.  

Think about it.


Dr. Don Meyer is President of 
Valley Forge Christian College, Phoenixville, PA 
Responses can be mailed to president@vfcc.edu