Light. Love. Lauren.


We’ve all said it, over and over: on this day, one year ago, a light went out.

And yes, it’s true in so many ways. But what if….

What if, in the moment she died, her light did not go out?

What if it split into a million tiny pieces, and flew all over the world, to inhabit those of us lucky enough to be loved by her?

That is what I have come to believe: that we don’t have Lauren, but her love and her light did not die with her. We have them, each of us, and we can choose to put them back into the world. We have to love each other, and love other people, and do kind things, and smile at babies and pet every dog we meet, and hug awkward children.

We have to be the light, for one another, for ourselves, for the world.

And so, today, on the day we lost Lauren, here are 10 ways we can keep Lauren’s light alive:

  1. Be a friend to animals. Have pets and take very good care of them. Spoil them a little. Make sure they are always well fed, that they  have clean, full water bowls (or buckets), and a warm, dry, safe place to sleep. Keep them healthy and properly exercised and thoroughly socialized.  If you can’t have pets, support animal rescue organizations with your time or your money.
  2. Never stop learning.  Believe in your own ability to learn new things. Find a class or a group or an online forum. Watch YouTube if you have to. Ask questions. Call friends who know things. Google. Lauren doggedly pursued new skills and knowledge, even when it was hard for her, even when it led her down long internet rabbit holes where each step referred to another thing she did not know how to do. Usually, after 3 or 4 rabbit holes, she called me and we googled together, laughing.
  3. Make yourself a family of people who love you and love each other. Don’t limit yourself to relationships forged by blood or marriage. Make family out of people who get you, no matter how they come into your life. Lean on them and let them lean on you, and make sure they can lean on one another, too. You never know when or how much they will need each other.
  4. See people clearly. See their flaws and weaknesses and rough spots, then find the good. Lauren saw the good in everyone – the bright, shining places that we ourselves often didn’t even know about – and because she could see the good, she forgave the bad more easily.
  5. When you find the good in someone, point it out — to her or him, and to other people. Remind them over and over again of their own beauty and brilliance. Lauren saw things in each of us that we didn’t even know about ourselves, and when she pointed those things out, we discovered our own strengths.
  6. Coach. Not everyone has a sport like Lauren had volleyball, but everyone has a skill. Find a way to share that skill with others.  Share it generously, with anyone who wants to learn from you, not just the best and brightest and most talented.
  7. Be kind to children, both your own and other people’s. Build relationships with the kids in your community. Advocate for them. Give them a safe place to hang out, and a safe person to talk to.
  8. See the beauty. Notice how bright the moon is, the way the sun sinks behind a hill, the first green hint of spring, the surprise of a warm wind on a dark night. See the magic of the falling snow even as you dig out your car or shovel your sidewalk. Lauren made blizzards beautiful even as she cursed frozen water troughs.
  9. Know yourself, and be at peace with what you know. Do not apologize for loving reality television or cheap wine or cheesy books. Be who you are, laugh at yourself, and enjoy whatever brings you pleasure. Lauren let the world stop every week for The Voice, and one summer painted her nails a million different colours, just because it made her happy.
  10. Smile at the people you love, from your heart, and with all your heart. Lauren had a way of lighting up when someone she loved walked into a room, smiling in a way that put her whole soul on her face, and damn, it made you feel good. It made ME feel good.

I miss Lauren. WE miss Lauren. I miss her laughter and her friendship and her love. I miss being loved by her. The missing will never stop, but the love and the light won’t stop, either.

We don’t have to be Lauren.

But we can be the light.

We can be the love.


Please visit Miss Night Mutters to read more of Amy’s thoughts.

Remembering Lornie

Dear friends;

As many of you know, Coppercreek tragically lost one of our Directors — Lauren (Lornie) Lindskog Allen — last week. We are deeply saddened by her passing, and we dearly miss her, every day.


We wanted to take a moment to thank those of you who have reached out to us, directly or over social media, sending us love, comfort, and support. On behalf of Lauren’s family, including her daughter, Sutter, who has grown up at camp, and Lornie’s long-time sweetie, Jared, we thank you for the cards, notes, e-mails, and phone calls so many of you have sent. Your words have helped buoy our heavy hearts more than we can describe.Lornie Surfing

Coppercreek Camp was founded by Lornie’s parents – John Lindskog and Lynne Evarts – and was a fixture in Lauren’s life from the time she was a toddler. She was present at camp for 48 summers, as a camper, CIT, cabin counselor, riding instructor, and camp owner-director. She was the founder of our TREK program, and was the driving force behind the beauty and breadth of our equestrian center and programs.

We know that Lornie’s light will continue to shine through Coppercreek and through all of the campers whose lives she touched over the years. We look forward to spending our 51st summer laughing and playing and singing and dancing as before, even if, on occasion, we do so with tears in our eyes.   For the summer of 2015, we all — Becky and Craig Hogland, and Lornie’s daughter, Sutter Allen — plan to welcome our campers with open arms. Lornie would have wanted the joy, laughter and magic of Coppercreek to continue as it always has.

Nothing we can write can adequately capture Lauren’s generosity of spirit, kindness of heart, or bright sense of adventure. She saw the good, special, and most essential parts of all of us, and by so doing, helped us to see the good in ourselves. She was a steward for Mother Nature, and an advocate for animals of every kind; she believed that family is more than flesh and blood, that we all need community, and that we have a responsibility to look after one another however we can. We are determined to live all the things she taught us, and to do so with joy, this summer.

Camp Family

Many of you have asked about ways to contribute to the Coppercreek legacy. We are so grateful for, and humbled by, your generosity. To honour Lauren’s life, contributions can be made to the Coppercreek Benefit account, via paypal , or by mail to Plumas Bank, P.O. Box 612, Greenville CA, 95947.

Lornie Memorial Photo

Day is done. Gone the sun. From the lake, from the hills, from the sky. All is well. Safely rest. God is nigh.