Good Grief, Idaho

Me and the Cute Catastrophe

Claire Harding

I live in Idaho. (Yes, potatoes. *eye roll* Can we talk about something else?) And I love it here. Small town values galore and it’s right where I want to raise my girls after my jerk ex traded me in for a “younger, newer model” (his words, not mine).

My mom’s the volunteer fire chief in our town and I’m pretty happy hanging out with the auxiliary at the fire hall and doing her grunt work – NOT fighting fires, because, please, I read, love science and my idea of a lot of exercise is having to walk up the stairs twice in the morning before I send my girls off to school and leave for my job as a home nurse.

I guess it’s kind of weird that I also coach basketball. Long story.

I was pretty happy with my life until the hot shot, all-state baller from my teen years moved back in next door. (I babysat him, yes, but I never changed his diapers. Just wanted to be clear about that.)

Guess who’s now the assistant b-ball coach?

Logic would say me – especially since I coached my entire first year holding the play book upside down (it turned out to be an old football playbook from the ‘80s, so it’s not like it mattered which way I held it) but the accurate answer is Trey Haywood, my all-star neighbor, and I’m honestly not sure which of us is more upset about it.

Anyway, the team was trying to set us up (girls, they’re such romantics) and I don’t think they would have succeeded, but in celebration of breaking our 37 game losing streak, they locked Trey and me in the septic system control room.

That changed everything. Not in a good way.

Trey

Yeah. What she said.

And…when I first saw her again, I thought she was a catastrophe.

New thought post septic control: she’s a cute catastrophe. (And, holy man, can she kiss.)

Me and the Tiny Tornado

Tammy Fry

I thought it would be a good idea to buy a dog…I ended up with an ATV I have no idea how to drive.

I’m not sure how this happened, especially since the man I purchased it from, Justin Gabriel, introduced himself by running his remote-controlled monster pickup into my high heeled shoe.

I’m serious, studious and a high school English teacher at Good Grief High. Needless to say, Justin Gabriel is not my type.

Except I also somehow managed to get myself signed up for a charity run riding the ATV I’ve purchased but have never started.

Mr. Gabriel is going to teach me how to drive. If I can stand him that long.

Justin

She’s tall, tidy and man, when she gets serious about riding her machine, that woman’s a tornado!

This country boy is in love.

I’m not sure the lady feels the same.

Me and the Helpful Hurricane

Leah

It took me a while – most of my life, in fact – to decide that my hometown of Good Grief, Idaho is the best place in the world to live. But, I have and I love it…except for one thing.

My boss.

Okay, so the man is good at his job, we just have a tendency to disagree on how much activity the seniors at our assisted living center want to have.

I, personally, think they’d love to go on a whitewater rafting trip.

The Boss nixed that idea before my words landed in the space between his ears. He sees my mouth moving and just says “no.” (I think he grew up in the olden days and took Nancy Reagan’s slogan to heart.)

And just for the record my boss is smart (very smart!) and handsome and funny and totally NOT my type.

But, we need to convince seniors that retiring in Good Grief, Idaho is a great idea, and I have plans that will make that happen, if I can only get my boss to go along with them.

With that in mind, I’m embarking on a new mission remembering that honey catches more flies than vinegar AND honey tends to make an already bad relationship even more awkward when worn topically over two human bodies that happen to be tied together…that one is going down as an experience I’d rather not have shared with my boss.

Doug

What can I say?

She’s a hurricane.

Also, I think we might have broken some kind of workplace harassment rules when, after being tied up and slathered with honey, I kissed her.

But a man can only take so much.

I guess it says something about the kiss when I have to admit, I bought another gallon of honey and borrowed my brother’s handcuffs – all (mostly) in the name of saving Good Grief’s senior living center.

Me and the Sweet Snowstorm

Kimber

I’m a city girl and proud of it.

Chicago is my hometown and I’m in my element surrounded by people and buildings and busyness.

Actually, my business – my vlog – depends on my interactions with people. You can’t go viral talking about your pet turtle.

Well, maybe some people can, but that’s not how I became a highly paid influencer.

I was happy to use my influence to help my grandmother, Agnes, save her assisted care facility. I thought I was going to hate being out in the wilderness for days on end…bugs and bears and no internet or sushi bars.

To my surprise, I kind of…liked it.

To my further surprise, I found myself wanting to linger around our tour guide, Bain. He’s a rugged, outdoorsy type – not the kind of guy I’ve ever found attractive. But he was so good at what he did – just tough and rugged and unafraid of anything. Who doesn’t find confidence and competence in a man attractive?

Regardless, while I am going back out to Idaho to attend a wedding, and some small part of me wants to see Bain again, the bigger, more sophisticated part of me knows that there will never be anything between us unless of course, The Snowstorm of the Century happens to occur while I’m there and we take a snowmobile ride, get lost, find our way to a remote cabin and ride out the storm in blissful (or not so blissful) seclusion.

But, come on, what are the odds of that happening?

Bain

Pretty good, it turns out.

Back east, I’ve heard they call those late spring snows “sugar snows” because of the maple syrup and such. For me, here in Idaho, I just call it what it is: perfect timing for me and my sweet snowstorm.

Me and the Dreamy Doomsday

Kori

People are so serious about life. I feel it was made to be enjoyed. I’m not interested in having a great career or climbing a corporate ladder or being inside much at all, actually.

I don’t like to stay with things too long, either. I’ve worked as a short line cook, a firefighter and a dolphin trainer among other things. So, when the ladies at the Good Grief senior living center offer me a short term job as the photographer for the risqué nature calendar they want to pose for – to cross it off of Miss Agnes’s bucket list – I am all in.

A few online photography courses later and I am ready to roll. Unfortunately, the guide of our choice, my sister’s fiancé, Bain, is all booked up. So he gets us his brother, Hoover, instead.

Hoover and I have a bit of history, but he is as boring as the day is long and I couldn’t be less interested.

Everything is going as planned until Miss Agnes decides she actually has being a photographer on her bucket list, Miss Harriet comes down with a severe case of sunburn on her nether regions and Miss Gertrude runs off with her favorite narrator.

Suddenly I’m the star of the risqué calendar, Miss Agnes is taking my picture and Hoover…well, Hoover disapproves of pretty much everything, and he hates me, too. I want to fire him, but Miss Agnes has other plans…

Hoover

I thought I was leading a tour to show the ladies Idaho’s scenic places and wildlife.

I was misinformed, although Kori equals wild life. Way too wild for me. I mean, show the woman a mud puddle and she wants to skinny dip in it.

Then, Miss Agnes decides that I should be in the calendar too, and I have an eighty year old woman explaining to me what a speedo is…

I’m on to Miss Agnes’s plans, but I’m not sure Kori and I are strong enough to fight the tide…