FORT VALLEY – It all started after a house party in Herndon for Craig and Christine Furneisen.
“I was playing women’s softball in Arlington,” Christine Furneisen said, “when I was invited to a townhouse party for Craig.”
Always a little shy, she said her sister made her go. “She shoved me out the door and said, ‘You go!’”
Upon her arrival to the townhouse, Christine Furneisen said the music was playing too loudly, so her many knocks went unheard. “I told myself, I drove all the way out here so I wasn’t going to leave. So, I marched around to the backyard and went right in through the sliding glass door.”
There she met Craig and Craig. “There were two Craigs at the party,” she said. “They both were pining for my affection.”
It’s clear which Craig swept her off her feet. Her husband noted, “I saw Christine and just knew. I tried to make it so no one else would talk to her that night.”
Four months after meeting at that unforgettable party, he asked her to marry him. She said no. As it turns out, he said he simply worded the question incorrectly.
“I asked her to marry me in the spring,” Craig Furneisen said. “When I should’ve said, ‘will you marry me in the fall?’’
In September 1978 the couple said “I do” in front of a large group of family and friends. Forty years later, they still sneak in sideward glances at one another.
“I tell her I love her every day,” he said. “And she tells me every day she loves me.”
The couple both agree that the past 40 years have flown by. Originally, they said they wanted to be married for five years before having any children. But their plan altered when they welcomed their first two children in those first five years. A third child would join the family a few years later.
“This just goes so fast when you have kids,” Craig Furneisen said.
His wife added that taking kids to soccer practice and raising them went by quickly. “The next thing I knew they were graduating high school. Going to college. Getting jobs. Having children of their own.”
The saying “time flies when you’re having fun” is the motto the Furneisen family has lived by.
Now a retired firefighter from Fairfax County, Craig Furneisen said working in those early years of marriage has allowed them to live the life they want to now. They like to travel internationally, enjoy each other’s company and both love to read.
“You know you’ve found your soulmate when you can sit for hours and read,” Christine Furneisen said. “Without realizing how much time has passed. Because it just feels right.”