Now that school is out and it’s officially summer, one of our favorite holidays is upon us. The 4th of July signals the start of summer in the Pacific Northwest and brings back memories of days at the beach, family barbecues, time at the lake, sunburns, popsicles, cold beer, and of course, fireworks.

I’ve always looked forward to the 4th of July, but my Independence Day celebrations have certainly changed over the years. When discussing the 4th with a good friend, I think he summed it up well: “For most of us, the 4th of July has three distinct phases as we move through life.”

1. Ages 1-15: 4th of July as a kid brings back memories of time with my family, barbecues in the backyard, seeing how many red, white and blue cookies and popsicles I could get my hands on, donning the most patriotic clothes I owned and maybe going to the parade through town, waiting on pins and needles for the firework show, and watching in complete awe. And how can I forget– being a complete and utter pyromaniac and I’m sure scaring my mom half to death.

2. Ages 16-30: In the words of my friend, “14 years of shear debauchery.” What better excuse to have a party than America’s birthday! I believe we all remember those years or we try hard to forget those years. I remember them with great fondness. The Garden Bar in Big Fork, MT was the place to be for me during those years. I think?

3. Age 30 and beyond: After getting married and having kids, my perspective on the 4th has shifted drastically. It has become much less about me and more about watching my kids enjoy the “first phase of the 4th,” shooting sparklers and watching the fireworks. The 4th of July is an opportunity to spend time with those who mean the most to me, my family, and celebrate my country and our civic duty.

As it turns out, the three phases of 4th of July celebrations follow a similar cycle to most things in life. Sometimes it takes a while to truly gain perspective, so enjoy your time with family and friends and start off your Northwest summer with a bang!

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Happy 4th of July from all of us here at Juniper Capital!