Friday, July 11, 2014

Gnats Drive Me Gnuts

Squinting through the fingers of my softball glove, I take a deep breath, inhaling the fragrance of leather and hot, humid air. Standing in our neighbor's pasture where our family of eleven has joined the Saunders family of nine to a softball game, I can feel the sweat trickle down my back, and my wilted "wings" are sticking to my forehead. My view of the action at home plate is mostly blocked by my mitt. I could remove it from the front of my face, and would probably not make my face quite so hot, but if I were to do that, the gnats would have a better chance of getting in my eyes.
The Iseman-Beidler Clan

While the softball game drags on, the only activity I am actively engaged in the outfield is keeping those infernal insects out of my eyes. Occasionally, I remove the mitt from my face to take a swipe through a swarm of gnats, hoping that by clearing a path through the buzzing mass of bugs, I will scare them away. They quickly reassemble, flying around my head, and I go back to protecting my eyes with my mitt.

Gnats are so annoying. During the heat of any summer day in Virginia, they travel in swarms, attracted to eyeballs, apparently.  I swear I spent the better part of June, July, and August of my childhood trying to remove dead gnats from the corner of my eye. 

Being in the outfield is such a drag; it is just so boring out here. The only people possibly having any fun are the pitcher, and whoever has a turn at bat. The Saunders boys and my brothers know if they hit the ball in my direction, they're probably going to get a home run out it. I'm too busy protecting myself from the bugs, and I'm not exactly known for my athletic skills. I hate softball, and the only reason I'm even out here is because the Saunders family is comprised of seven boys, several falling in my age range of interest. 

Granny Iseman once told me at a church picnic that I needed to hold a small, leafy branch over my head to get the gnats to fly OVER my head, instead of around it. They're attracted to the highest part of us, and apparently, we trick them into thinking the branch is where the top of our head is. Gnats are not only pests, they must be pretty stupid. It seemed to work for her, but I was a teenager, and couldn't afford drawing undue attention to myself. I became adept at folding the corner of a Kleenex into a sharp point to retrieve gnats from the corner of my eyes because I wasn't willing to carry foliage above my head.

Gnats are probably why summer is NOT my favorite season. And why I hate being outdoors in the summer in Virginia. And why I really hate playing softball. But gnats are only ONE reason I hate softball. There are bigger reasons I hate that game, but that's a story for another day.

6 comments:

  1. Yea, those gnats are here in New York too and it doesn't matter if its softball in field or just weeding the garden, they find me too. Sorry to hear don't like softball, I am looking forward to that story!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, not a fan of very many sports, the least of which is softball!

      Delete
  2. Liked your story. I could picture you out there fighting off those pests.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Anne. It's always nice to hear from you!

      Delete
  3. Instead of nit picking you become proficient at GNAT picking!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, Peggy! ;-) Thanks for stopping by...

      Delete

Thank you so much for stopping by Randomocity. Like most writers, I enjoy interacting with the wonderful people who read what I have to say, so please, if you would like to leave a "blogment," I would love to hear from you!