George Graham

Waiting for Irma


Not a leaf stirs, and the rain that drenched us for weeks has hit the pause button. Is this the calm before the storm?

At the supermarket yesterday, bottled water, canned goods, flashlight batteries and other emergency provisions were vanishing from the shelves as shoppers prepared for the worst.

Irma is still days away but we’ve seen the pictures on TV. Pictures of a perfect storm with a well defined eye and a wingspan hundreds of miles across. Category 5.

Sandra and I worry about the two outside cats, Willie and Harri. Will they be safe in the garage? Or should we try to bring them inside the house?

Will the house be safe? It’s half a century old after all.

We replaced the roof a few years ago but could it withstand winds of 175 miles an hour? And those grandfather oaks, will they hold? Or will those giant branches come crashing down upon us?

At a time like this, the threat of a North Korean nuclear attack seems far away. Trump’s antics pale. Even the plight of those poor Dreamers is overshadowed by Mother Nature’s menace.

Samuel Johnson’s words come to mind:

Depend upon it, sir, when a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully.

There’s not much we can do really. Sandbags would help of course. But it’s impossible to barricade all of the windows in the family room.

The best we can do is pray.

More about Irma

About the author


I am a Jamaican-born writer who has lived and worked in Canada and the United States. I live in Lakeland, Florida with my wife, Sandra, our three cats and two dogs. I like to play golf and enjoy our garden, even though it's a lot of work. Since retiring from newspaper reporting I've written a few books. I also write a monthly column for