Norristown couple hopes painted stones will soften hearts

NORRISTOWN – Physicians tout a heart-healthy diet to protect the most important muscle.

It isn’t the only way to take care of your ticker. Too much negativity and hate can turn even the warmest heart to stone. Two Norristown women and their four-year-old daughter are trying to flip that script and make a stone soften your heart. “Norristown Rocks” is the Facebook group that decorates rocks and places them throughout town to be found. The goal is simple – to brighten someone’s day.

Carrie Alexander-Quinn and her wife, Erin, recently took a trip to visit Carrie’s parent’ in Detroit. Carrie, a native of the Motor City says she “bleeds Detroit.” While they where visiting, Carrie took their daughter Declyn to a park where the four-year-old found painted rocks.

“Look what I found,” she said, delighted.

“She found the rock and her eyes lit up,” recalled Carrie.

Carrie had read about painted rocks being planted but didn’t know where they were. After Declyn’s discovery they began the cycle of painting rocks and plating them. It gave Carrie an idea to bring back home.

“Everybody talks about Norristown and how negative it is. If finding a painted rock brings a smile to someone’s face, why not? It’s easy,” said Carrie. Carrie and Erin have been residents of Norristown since they moved to the area in 2014 from Minneapolis to be closer to Erin’s family.

The Alexander-Quinn’s set up a table on their front porch on Noble Street with brushes, a few bags of white rocks from Home Depot, and a crate filled with paint. Kids ring their doorbell nearly every day asking if they can paint.

“It’s great to see the kids want to be involved,” said Erin, who was an avid painter in high school and college. “I’ll sit outside with the kids and paint. The kids love it.”

When finished painting, a sticker is affixed to the back – Post to #NorristownRocks Facebook.

The Alexander-Quinns then gather the rocks to plant them in public areas.

“We want to know people are finding them. If it made their day. It hasn’t taken off like we wanted to yet,” said Carrie.

unknown-8 unknown-10Carrie recently planted a rock with the breast cancer ribbon at the Women’s Center at Einstein Montgomery. People saw it but didn’t know what to do with it, she said.

If you see a rock and take it, then you should repaint and replant one.

Consider it paying a smile forward.

“You can’t even get people to smile nowadays. Maybe a rock can do it,” said Carrie.

Some rocks are painted with designs like pumpkins, rainbows, or Hello Kitty. Others have written messages such as, “be kind” or “have a nice day.”

“By all means, if it has our sticker on the back please take it. We hope the people who find the rocks enjoy them,” said Erin.

Erin was active in her community in Minneapolis and made it a point to continue her involvement in her new home.

“We love the street we live on and our neighbors,” Erin said.

A few minutes later, Decyln spotted a close-in-age neighbor playing with a dollhouse.

“Want to come over?” Declyn asked. The girl quickly obliged and they began to paint rocks on sunny Sunday morning.

It was enough to turn even the most hardened heart of stone into a puddle.