Keeping deer away, it said.
The notecard my mother-in-law left me last week.
Laura, after things dry off after a rain, mix a solution of ¾ parts water & ¼ part milk in a spray bottle. Spray all your garden plants. If you don’t have a spray bottle, just take your fingers and sprinkle the plants—must do this after every rain. It will keep the deer away.
My tenderettes had turned up nibbled down to the nub one morning. I called my mother and father-in-law. They are my gardening consultants.
It’s the deer, she said. They love beans!
She left me the card while I was at work one day. I don’t know why, but I didn’t do it.
The next day, I noticed that the tops of some of my tomato plants had been nibbled. And my hydrangea. I’m doomed to never see that thing bloom.
I still didn’t sprinkle the milk. I don’t know why. I just didn’t do it.
The next morning, I was incredulous.
Those boogers ate my tobasco peppers! I told my husband.
Sprinkle the milk, he said.
Well, I didn’t think they would eat hot peppers!
The milk, he said, emphatically.
I didn’t. Do. It.
The next morning, I was enjoying a cup of coffee at the kitchen table. The birds were frolicking happily at my feeder and I was lost in the flutter of wing and flash of gold. Then, on my periphery, something moved in the meadow. Something large and brown.
Slowly, I stood up from the table. The birds startled away in a poof of feathers.
It was a doe.
Breathlessly, I watched her move toward the fence, edging ever closer to my garden. I was ready to make a big ruckus. I could put a scare on a doe like nobody’s business. And then the little fawn appeared.
I sat back down.
She nosed her little muzzle up against the fence.
Perhaps that dear little creature needs those beans more than I, my clouded thoughts wondered.
The thieving duo disappeared into the thick underbrush of the meadow and I began thinking of vine-ripened tomatoes. Of homemade salsa and the snap of fresh-picked beans.
I sprinkled the milk.
While I was doing so, I wondered to myself…what took me so long?
Does that ever happen to you? You know you should do something, but you just don’t? You know it will make your life better, richer, more beautiful…but you don’t.
I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. (Romans 7:15-20)
There is a simple solution. That sprinkling again. When I remember the sprinkling of my baptism…it keeps me from being nibble down to the nub.
What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord.—Romans 7: 24-25
With Jen and the Soli Deo Gloria sisters today: