Renewal; Restoration; Renovation; Repair.
Whether used to describe an action or state of mind the word for our year is INSTAURATION.
This New Year rings in 10 years of instauration of Montegut. We have reached a milestone, a decade of ownership quite literally a sea change in our lives.
While structural repair of Montegut may appear visually profound it is the process that forever altered our lives. So when I say or write Montegut it is the entity, literally, to which I refer.
Our first glimpse of Montegut came with the unexpected reunion of a large extended family separated by more than a century. Each trip reintroduces us to more of its personal history as well as reinforces our resolve to restore what remains of the nearly lost legacy of Dargeles' Montegut. We still eagerly listen to stories passed from generation to generation, renewing a bond that seems to have come full circle. As each family member shares their connection to the maison familiale our understanding and appreciation increases.
Foremost was replacing the roof. Operating heavy equipment was a bonus. Withstanding a major wind and rain storm the following year unscathed was the reward!
I kept busy painting the shutters returning them to their original bleu ciel color happily leaving the heavy lifting to those with nonrational fear of heights.
Year after year our trips become more focused as our project were planned in advance. First the preservation of la maison then the room by room restoration. We extended our time from 3 or 4 weeks to 3 months and then to 5 months, completing essential as well as discretionary projects.
They really are the the color of the sky!
Then giving the ancient oak doors a boost with numerous coats of bees wax and hand polishing.
All while Barry re-built damaged interior walls, re-plastered, sanded and painted walls and window frames and doors.
So far he has completed 6 room plus the loft space which is approx 20'X 45. The stairwell which is close to 30' high and 10' X 14' .... of course the ceilings had to be scraped, patched and painted as well!
Together we managed to renovate the entire upper level of Montegut!
There were many exterior upgrades including a new Septic Fosse, Exterior paint, Courtyard gravel, new hardscaping to create a shade garden, stairway to the upper barn area.