Tomorrow, as we gnaw on dry turkey and argue about cranberry sauce (if it doesn’t slide whole from the can, it’s not the real deal), let’s remember all we have to be thankful for.

We enjoy a quality of life unequalled by almost every other country on the planet.

Most of us have plenty to eat, a roof over our heads, a warm bed—not to mention smart phones and TVs, laptops, cable, wi-fi and so many clothes we have “fat” and “thin” wardrobes. (You’ll have to pry my black stretch pants from my cold, chubby fingers.)

So here’s my “thankfulness” list this year. (I borrowed the format from my former publisher, Bill Collins. Happy Thanksgiving, Bill!)

For disposable plates, green bean casserole and families coming together, I’m thankful.

For those serving meals at homeless shelters tomorrow, I’m thankful.

For cheap gas and reliable transportation, I’m thankful.

For being able to stand up and walk every morning, I’m thankful.

For cashews, eaten by the fistful, I’m thankful.

For a husband who makes me laugh and has my back (and tolerates my obsessions with throw pillows), I’m thankful.

For cataract surgery that lets me see leaves on trees again, I’m thankful.

For the ability to travel anywhere in America unimpeded, I’m thankful.

For grocery stores stocked with nutritious food, I’m thankful.

For the right to own a weapon for self-defense, I’m thankful.

For the lowcountry’s humid, velvety August nights, I’m thankful.

For the phone that wakes me up, plays my favorite songs, gives me directions, keeps me in touch with friends and family and provides answers to any question I ask, I’m thankful.

For hot tea and gingerbread, I’m thankful.

For blessing boxes, food banks, soup kitchens, public health programs and local service agencies, I’m thankful.

For my family of origin and my family of choice, I’m thankful.

For the kindest hearts among us—you know who you are—I’m thankful.

For art in all its forms, I’m thankful.

For lazy summers, crisp autumns, mild winters and joyous springs, I’m thankful.

For doctors, nurses, social workers and therapists who keep body and soul together, I’m thankful.

For people who dedicate their lives to helping those with four legs and no voice, I’m thankful.

For those who challenge our complacency, test our hidebound traditions and enlarge our limited perspectives, I’m thankful.

For those who seek--and find--the good in everyone, I’m thankful.

For living in a magnificent melting pot of a nation that has Italian bakeries, Polish newspapers, German breweries, Amish furniture and French designers, I’m thankful.

For libraries and literacy programs, I’m thankful.

For Aleve and ice packs, I and my back are thankful.

For all the books that have entertained me, educated me, opened my eyes and put me to sleep (looking at you, James Joyce), I’m thankful.

For those who served and are serving in our armed forces, I’m thankful.

For those who keep the faith against all odds, I’m thankful.

For sleeping pills and hormones and Retin-A, I’m thankful.

For local seafood pulled from our waters and eaten a few hours later, I’m thankful.

For the freedom to disagree with our elected leaders, I’m thankful.

For police, fire and EMS personnel, I’m thankful.

For the freedom to worship any deity of my choosing, or none at all, I’m thankful.

For the many parks and historic sites that surround us, I’m thankful.

For the kindness and empathy displayed by strangers, I’m thankful.

For everyone who took time to read this, I’m thankful.

Julie R. Smith, who’s also thankful for the Monkees and Freddie Mercury, can be reached at