I do try every year at this time to take a mental inventory of the things for which I am thankful. So many times blessings creep into our lives and then quickly become taken for granted. But take them away for a minute and we howl in pain.

Take electricity. When the power goes out I rage at the inconvenience and I promise to honor the lights, the microwave and the flushing toilets in the future. When it goes back on I dance with joy and throw kisses at the repair workers as their truck moves on to the next job. I’m so thankful.

And then in 10 minutes, I take it all for granted.

So now I am mentally visiting the things that are my good fortune and offering thanks.

I’m thankful for pre-made pie crusts, frozen peas, non-fat whipped cream, stuffing mix and turkeys that pop up a little white thing when they are perfectly done. I’m thankful for our new water pump, the new hot water heater and a new chimney. I’m thankful for the six cords of wood neatly stacked in the cellar next to a full tank of oil.

I’m thankful for contact lenses, dishwashers, permanent press shirts, pre-peeled carrots, Scrabble and polio vaccine. I’m grateful for the internet so I can keep in constant touch with my far-flung children and siblings, … and occasionally order something from L.L. Bean. I’m grateful that one of my brothers lives in Florida so I can visit him every February when it’s 100 below zero here.

Speaking of Florida, I’m thankful we don’t have hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, active volcanoes or killer blizzards (Well, not lately). And no swarms of locusts, ever.

I’m thankful for the most extraordinary, caring neighbors who live in my town and, with winter almost here, the best snow-removal guy on the planet

I’m thankful the Brookline bridge renovation is almost complete and I’m sure that the family that lives right next to the massive construction site is more thankful than I could ever imagine.

I’m thankful that I was working in a shoe store 49 years ago when an ad rep from the local paper came in to see my boss who wasn’t there at the time, and so he stayed and chatted and eventually married me.

I’m grateful that the Red Sox won the World Series even after I kept telling myself it was bad luck to wish for it. A late-in-life sports fan, I experienced the thrill that Johnny, Manny, Pedro and Kurt brought home to our part of the world.

I’m really, really thankful that the interminable presidential campaign is over and that John Ashcroft will no longer be attorney general. I’m thankful that Howard Dean, who was a bright spot on the political scene and one really cool guy, is a Vermonter.

I’m thankful to the lovely people who say, “Are you Linda?” and then tell me they read this column.

I’m thankful that in these often terrifying times members of our family, as well as members of many more families, came home safely from the war.

I’m thankful my family is healthy and my grandchildren are gorgeous, brilliant, strong, and tall and that my children have jobs and health insurance.

And I’m thankful to the Pilgrims, or whomever, that started the idea of setting a day aside every year to give thanks.

I’m so thankful.