Today my Grammy, Betty Jane McInnes Lund Lee, is 88.

What do you do for a woman with such a collection of years? Write 88 memories, of course.

1. She was born on April 25, 1924 in Barstow, California to James King and Isabel[le] Maxwell McInnes.
2. She would become the oldest of six children, five brothers and one sister. Buddy, Hannah, Drew, Murray, and Max.
3. She couldn't say James when she was little, so she called her brother Buddy, and it stuck for life.
4. She married Irl J. Lund when she was 17. The ceremony took place at 7 PM on August 26, 1941 at her parents' home in front of the fireplace with beautiful flowers all around.
5. She wore a pale green dress and new Spectator pumps that were white and brown.
6. Her ring cost ten dollars and was a little gold band with rosebuds around it.
7. Friends of Irl's mother made dinner. It included roast beef with potatoes and suet pudding with lemon sauce.
8. What she remembers most from the ceremony was the officiant saying "if you will get up and make your husband breakfast and lunch every morning before he leaves for work, you will have a good life." They also repeated a little poem, "With this ring, I thee wed, and all my worldly goods, I thee endow."
9. After Irl had been dead for a month or two, she had a dream: he was standing next to her bed wearing a green uniform (from Parker Crosby's lumber business). He said, "Well, Sleepy Head, aren't you going to get up and fix my breakfast?"
10. They met at the Arvizona dance hall in Eagar Arizona when she was 15 on December 31, 1939.
11. Their first dance was a polka. She was wearing a wine colored dress, black shoes, and had her hair done at the beauty shoppe where her mom washed towels in exchange for services.
12. She thought he was dashing and could hardly believe he was interested in her.
13. Irl served in the navy on a transport ship during World War II. At first he wasn't accepted on account of his hand (he was missing the fingers on his left hand from a childhood accident), but he inquired later and was accepted. "The bottom dropped out of [her] world."
14. She stayed with his parents with their two young daughters while he was deployed.
15. They rendezvoused in San Diego during his leave.
16. Lifelong friendships were made with the women in her community who shared the common experience of having loved ones away for so long. Loween, Aurora, and Grammy were the "three musketeers," going to dances and movies with one another in attempts to keep the loneliness at bay.
17. Nathel, Irl's sister, was visiting her parents while Tom, her husband was away. She was out on the back porch doing laundry while Grammy was inside listening to the radio. She heard the news that the war was over. She went out to Nathel, they grabbed onto one another and danced and cried and laughed because their loves would soon be home.
18. After the war, my grandparents worked to build a house together on the corner of 5th and Eagar in Eagar, Arizona.
19. It would be home to eight children and one bathroom (after the bathroom was finished) for decades.
20.She had a wringer washing machine the early 90s. I loved watching her muscle through the laundry in the "washroom."
21. Lace curtains - she has always had beautiful window coverings.
22. Mrs. Dash - after my grandpa developed special dietary needs, this seasoning was a staple. I don't know how many different varieties she had in her cupboard.
23. The El Jo - I lived with my grandparent for several months when I was young, and Grammy worked at a motel in town. Grandpa would take me and let me ring the bell on the counter.
24. Pancakes - she would make pancakes anytime my heart desired them. We'd pull out a big tub of Country Crock and either Mrs. Butterworth's or Aunt Jemima's syrup and go to town.
25. KFC - there was one right up the street. An easy dinner and I always got to eat the leftover gravy with a spoon or just drink it straight from the styrofoam bowl. I think these meals had a big part in KFC being my first official place of employment when I turned 16. I already practically knew the menu by heart.
26. We got into an accident in Payson coming home from Dustie's wedding. She was nervous but kept her cool and used a common line in our family about how vehicles can be replaced but people can't when talking to the other driver who was having an all out freak out.
27. Her relationship with her mother - They were lifelong best friends.
28. She has been a prolific letter writer throughout her life. She always kept several memo pads which were her choice stationary.
29. Nice pens. She never wrote with your average Joe Bic ballpoint.
30. She can iron clothes better than anyone I've seen. Her clothes are always so crisp and lovely.
21. She never had much money, but always wanted her kids to look sharp, so she would wash and mend and iron. One of her children's school teachers later in life said that her children always looked so nice, and it was a tremendous compliment.
32. Que Sera Sera - she was out with friends one night many (many many many) years ago and she started singing this song in the car. When she was done her friends said, "Oh, Betty, sing it again," and she did.
33. When I was little, I thought it was pretty boring, but as I've grown older, I appreciate having been able to tag along with my grandparents for game nights with old friends.
34. Visiting Vail who was sick with cancer. One time we took her Jamba Juice.
35. Taking Grammy to Jamba Juice for the first time.
36. She used to take me to church when I was little.
37. Curling irons with bristles.
38. Makeup - she always had great makeup, and let me use it whenever I wanted to. I still have one compact of eyeshadow she gave me. I know it goes against all of the hygienic rules of makeup expiration.
39. She can make up a lovely bed.
40. "More room out than in."
41. When I was 5 she had this crazy virus that attacked her nervous system. When the ambulance came to my house to get her, I laughed in the midst of all of my crying cousins as we sat staring out the back window of her old yellow Granada. It was the first time I realized it was okay to express feelings differently.
42. She was in the hospital for a month, and I was a frequent visitor. I was often chatting it up in the nurses station. A nurse was showing me pictures on her desk. She was in a bikini in one of them, and I told her it was immodest. :/
43. She took great care of people like "Sister" Randall and little Jessica Baggett.
44. She's sent most of her life being "healthy as a horse."
45. The way she cried when she thought no one was watching when she was going through letters in her attic just before selling the home where she raised her family.
46. The miscarriage she had between her sixth and seventh children. All the blood, the worry, the way she had locked the door before she realized what was happening, and Grandpa pushing his way in.
47. She was pregnant with her daughters. Weird. ;)
48. Physical therapy after her knee surgery, twice.
49. The first time she rooty tooted in the mall and went on like nothing happened all the while I ducked behind a clothing rack laughing hysterically.
50. Crushing cans for recycling.
51. Taking the said crushed cans to the recycling center in large burlap sacks and using the money we got from them for to go to the dollar movie and Sonic.
52. She always ordered a number 2 from Sonic with jalapeños.
53. She would hack into one of those big hay stacks of Shredded Wheat for breakfast. When I found out that Frosted mini-wheats had gelatin and were not vegan, I felt legit devastation. Are you reading this Kellogg's?
54. She always bought Post Raisin Bran for my grandpa because he liked it best.
55. There was always some sort of treat in her freezer.
56. Swiskers. She got a cat after we had to give my dog and cat away because of a move. She let me name her and everything.
57. Tide and April Fresh Downy. I used to sit in the "dryer room" on top of the dryer breathing in all the clean clothes goodness.
58. I liked helping her Liquid Gold all of her kitchen cabinets.
59. She still calls a refrigerator an ice box. And I called it an ice box until 7th grade when some boy asked what that was.
60. Her collection of China that we got from Basha's using about a million of those little stamps you used to get as a reward for buying groceries.
61. She was 61 when I, her 33rd of 39 grandchildren, was born.
62. 2701 E Allred Ave. 11. Mesa, Az. 85204.
63. Her kissing my grandpa in the nursing home portion of the VA hospital where he was recovering from a stroke. It was perhaps the first time I'd seen that type of display of affection.
64. Second time. See above. When I was little, they stayed the night at our house, and I ran in early one morning and woke them up. My grandpa moved his hand to her hip, and I pushed it away because she was mine. They laughed at my possessiveness.
65. She let my great aunt Belle, her sister-in-law, who never had any children, name her fifth daughter and seventh child, Kristin Joy.
66. She wanted to name my mom, her eighth and final child, Allison, but my grandpa won and Linette it is.
67. She was 18 when she had her first child, and I can't tell you how many times she has relayed the story, but I love hearing it every single time: "when they put that little baby in my arms, I never knew I could love anyone so much."
68. She gained almost 70 pounds with her first pregnancy because she really loved Hershey Bars.
69. She is a major picture collector.
70. She's had pretty much the same hairstyle for decades.
71. She has maintained a beautiful relationship with her siblings, and before two of them passed away last year, she would talk of how great it would be if they could just all go together.
72. My grandpa got her a vinyl lace table cloth the Christmas before he passed away. It stayed on the table for years, even if it was under another table cloth. As it started wearing, she would mend the tears with Scotch tape.
73. She didn't get her driver's license until she was in her mid-thirties.
74. I cried after her first date with Art Lee because I knew she was going to get married to a man I didn't know. I mean, that's what older people do when they go out on a date with someone, time is of the essence.
75. They got married in August and soon found out Art had cancer. Jake and I went to visit for Christmas. Art was in the hospital. This woman wearing jeans that buttoned and zipped (no elastic waistband) came walking down the hall to greet us, and I was so thankful for this stranger who made her smile the way she did.
76. I didn't know where to divert my eyes when her and Art were giving one another a goodbye make-out before a bunch of us left the hospital for lunch.
77. The night I unexpectedly showed up at her house and she put my troubled heart at ease.
78. I wore a dress on every first day of school through seventh grade due to her old fashioned ways because "that's just what you did."
79. She always bought me some sort of article of clothing for school.
80. 844-4266
81. When my mom found out she was pregnant with me, Grammy promised she would help take care of me in whatever way she could, and she always has.
82. She deeply misses her loved ones who've already passed from this life.
83. She's almost always purchased two different sized shoes. A ten for one foot and an eleven for the other.
84. Growing up around "old" people was pretty much as rad as it gets.
85. She's had an unfailing testimony of her Father in Heaven, her savior, Jesus Christ, and the Church of Jesus Christ of latter-day Saints throughout her life.
86. Her favorite color is red.
87. Raising her children was her favorite time in life.
88. Her family is her most prized possession and her greatest desire is for each member to live the best life they can.


  1. I wish I had all these great memories like you. I am so jealous you got to spend so much time with both Grandpa and Grandma. I am glad you do have these memories and tidbits of knowledge about them. Thanks for sharing. Love you.

  2. I just got the first 20 about 6 months ago. I was in a writing class and wanted to write a piece about her and grandpa and their siblings. I have pages and pages of notes from the conversation.

  3. That is such a neat post! What a great way to honor her!

  4. You should post all of that information when you get time. There is so much that we don't know since we only know them for such a short time and we only know them when they have lived most of their life.

  5. I don't know how I missed this post, but I loved reading it! It is so great that you have these memories. Mine are very few! We only visited. I was grateful she came to live with my mom because I felt like I had gotten to know my own grandmother a little. Thanks for sharing!

  6. I loved reading this. You are a very talented writer. Your Grammy is my Aunt Betty.



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