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Get to Know a Wenham Mother Who Enjoys 'Old School' Formalities

This week's Meet Your Neighbor introduces us to Melanie D'Orio of Wenham.

Name: Melanie D'Orio

Street: Burnham Road, Wenham

Family: Husband, Eric; Son, 8 and Daughter, 6; Dog, Ginger

Occupation: At-Home Mother

Hobbies/interests: Cycling, Running, Volunteering, Reading, Coaching, Cooking/Entertaining, Decorating

What are you passionate about? I would say that I am most passionate about making time for what's most important, taking time to really look around at all the good that people are doing and letting them know about it. I think our generation may have lost a little of what's important. We go out to eat instead of having people into our homes. We busy ourselves with a schedule and sometimes lose sight of the little things going on around us. We are too busy to notice what each person has contributed to our day, year or life. I feel passionately about some of the "old school" formalities like the casual intimacy of a dinner party with friends, getting "dressed" for a holiday, putting my kids to bed each night, paying a compliment to a stranger or chatting with the grocery store bagger.

What did you study in school? English, though I was hardly a student.

Are you utilizing this subject now? I guess in indirect ways.

Best book: "Expecting Adam: A True Story of Birth, Rebirth, and Everyday Magic," by Martha Beck

Dream vacation: Safari with my children and husband

Favorite tradition: Every year we wait for the "Birthday Bushes" to bloom. My babies were both born toward the end of April and when we moved here from the North End on April 1 the forsythia bushes turned the most vibrant yellow, just in time for their birthdays. Every year we look forward to those bushes blooming! My kids were both born in the city so it is really special to bring them through the North End and walk around to visit the places they were born and spent time as preschoolers. Every year, on the last day of school before Christmas Break, we go into the North End to visit our old neighborhood and pick up torrone and cannoli for Christmas Dinner. We also get pizza then take a walk through Faneuil Hall to look at the lights and buy an ornament. If the weather is cooperative and the horses are out, we take a carriage ride through downtown with some hot chocolate.

Who is your favorite local resident? There are so many great people doing so many amazing things. I guess off the top of my head, Molly Morin who is into our to provide social mentoring for kids with intellectual disabilities. Emily Sumner and Holly Regan to refurbish for the community. Their can-do attitude has proven effective in moving forward with making Patton Park a centerpiece for our community, I can't wait to see it all unfold! Bill Heney, a local father of five and business owner, who has successfully started a values-based hockey program for his boys and other families all over the North Shore.

What obstacle have you overcome? A debilitating fear of flying resulting from a traumatic flight in my early 20s.

What have you done in your life that makes you proud? I hope that in 13 years, when my youngest is 18, I will be most proud of the empathetic, well adjusted, confident, independent adults we have raised - the proof will be in the pudding! On another note, I picked up running and cycling four years ago, something I never thought I'd do!

How long have you lived in Hamilton-Wenham? Five years

Why did you chose Hamilton-Wenham? The sense of community and the old fashioned small town feel it has.

What is your favorite place in Hamilton-Wenham? I love to run on Bridge Street in the spring and skate with my kids on Patton Pond in the winter. I grew up in a very urban community and while that had it's own beauty, I do get overcome sometimes by the beauty of what surrounds us here in Hamilton-Wenham every day. The sun and dew on the Miles River in the morning, the swans on Wenham Lake, the kids playing pond hockey on Route 1A, the horses casually walking with their riders on the paths - these are all things I didn't experience in my childhood. I feel so lucky that my little ones have the ability to see this special landscape every day. I never thought I'd land in such a beautiful place!

What is your favorite shop?

What is an a fact about you that most don’t know? I am actually a social introvert and a terrible conversationalist.

Where would someone see you around town? Running down 1A or having a coffee at .

Which local services and programs do you support? I currently Chair WISSH (Wenham Issues of Social Services and Help). Wenham Issues of Social Services Help is a committee approved by the Wenham Board of Selectman to assist them in serving Wenham residents in need of temporary financial or social-service assistance. No town monies are used, WISSH functions on donations from both residents and businesses. The mission of WISSH is to identify the social-service needs of Wenham residents and to coordinate and implement appropriate immediate unmet financial assistance to those in need. I have been co-president of the Hamilton-Wenham Mothers Club and without that network I would have been a bit lost having been new to town with two small children. I have made some of my best friends through that club. Additionally, they do an amazing job giving back to the community and have come so far in just the two years since I served as their co-president. I also coach U6 girls and U8 boys youth soccer and help out where I can within the schools. I also ride a 100 miles every year to support the Best Buddies Organization.

Michelle Bailey July 08, 2012 at 03:32 PM
Cheers to Melanie for all she does to make our community a welcoming place to live.
Tyson Goodridge July 09, 2012 at 02:53 PM
"social introvert" and terrible conversationalist? No way. You're the consumate hostess of the party. Great article Jen, love old school formalities as well
Melissa Even Moore July 09, 2012 at 07:29 PM
Melanie is an inspiration to me. The community is lucky to have her!

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