Much has been said and written about the younger generation, some of it not flattering. They are lazy, only interested in video games, hanging out, feeling entitled to a place to live and a job, spending money and all this provided by parents.
In some cases this might be true, but through the years I have seen some fantastic young people driven to succeed and make it on their own. Oh sure, the parents helped along the way, as expected. Recently, but I have been watching two kids (yeah I can get away with that) grow up. Their parents must be proud.
If you have ever visited the Farmer’s Market on Saturday, you might have noticed the yellow box truck and four tents in the corner closest to East Davis Street. Under those tents is a display of delicious home grown produce and two really driven young people, Holly and Chris. They work for Holly’s dad, Craig DeBernard, who owns the 400-acre farming operation, C&T Produce in Stafford County. The company sells produce at more than a dozen farmer’s markets and roadside stands throughout the area.
But enough about the business, let’s talk about Fredericksburg native’s Chris and Holly, who restore my faith in the younger generation. Let’s get this over with first. They have been boyfriend/girlfriend for eight years. Both are 25 years old now. They officially tied the knot in a beautiful but quick wedding ceremony on May 19 in King George County. But in actuality, they eloped on March 9 at the King George Courthouse.
“That was what we wanted,” said the new Mrs. Blum
However, his mother and her father wanted a more traditional wedding, thus the second beautiful ceremony in front of family and friends in May.
“I’ll accept flowers on both dates,” Holly joked, when asked which date would be the anniversary.
Chris gave an eye roll, when he heard that comment.
Holly is very smart, with a great personality to match. Chris is hard working with a very dry sense of humor.
Holly graduated third in her class from Stafford High School in 2011. She took a year of pre-med at VCU, graduating as a Registered Nurse in 2016. She originally thought she wanted to become a doctor.
“I told her if you become a doctor you are married to the profession,” said her father Craig. “But if you are a nurse, you go home after work.”
“I decided to go into nursing,” said Holly, who now works full time at VCU in the women’s health field.
Not only is she working full time but she is taking courses to become a Nurse Practitioner in 2020 after completing the course and clinicals.
Also, she has been working in the family’s produce business since she was about 14 years old.
Meanwhile, Chris, a 2011 Massaponax High School graduate, is not afraid of work. He has worked part time as a loader for UPS since 2012. But his first job was with C&T Produce.
While in high school, Chris saw a helped wanted sign at the produce company.
“It was my first job and I never left,” he said..
With both jobs, Chris has been known to work 10-, 12-, 16-hour days or more.
It was at the Culpeper Farmer’s Market in 2010 that Chris and Holly, both 17 at the time, actually first met, although she had seen him on the farm.
How long did it take for romance to develop?
“It didn’t take long,” said Holly, smiling. “Couple of months.”
Since then they have been inseparable. Both love the outdoors and like hunting and fishing.
A hiking trip to Deep Creek Lake sealed the deal. Chris said he thought about proposing the day before. He stood on a ledge at Deep Creek Lake in Western Maryland, when he dropped to a knee and presented Holly with a Ring Pop. The real ring followed later, which Holly picked out.
“I thought he was going to fall off (the ledge),” Holly recalled.
They knew one day they would tie the knot and started saving money for house, which they recently purchased a house in King George County.
With young people like Chris and Holly, this generation is in really good hands.
Asked if he had any regrets, Chris said, “Not yet,” with an impish smile.