While talking with a young gentleman yesterday, he asked me if I always wanted to be a writer. To which I replied, “To be honest, it wasn’t something I expected to be doing.” I had a different plan for this fall, but I honestly feel God intervened. I don’t know what His plan is yet, but I’m on this path and I’m going to see it through.

I was actually looking for a summer job until school started back. Then after summer was over, I would go back to substituting and enroll at Wiregrass to begin working on my teaching degree in Early Childhood Education. I had already enrolled and started filling out the financial aid paperwork.

Since I was also hoping to move to Hahira over the summer, I decided to look for work there too. Someone told me that they heard that one of the local shops was hiring, but they didn’t know which one. The second store I walked into was Monkey Britches, the children’s shop. I was not familiar with the shop, but I was immediately intrigued when I saw the precious baby clothing and beautiful displays. They were mingled with antique furniture and vintage toys of which I’m a collector. So I had an immediate interest.

Introductions were made and I think the owner, Vicki Rountree and I had an immediate connection. We are the same age and both have grown children. We got to talking and sharing things and she told me “You certainly have a story to tell.” I was asked to bring a sample story along with a list of ideas for future stories to our next meeting. The interview was set up, we met, and she loved my story and ideas. And thus began my adventure as a writer for South Georgia Today.

Before starting my writing job, I had several careers that lasted for stretches from five years in Retail Sales and Management to ten years as a Veterinary Assistant from the end of 1993 to 2002. I’ve also worked as a paraprofessional for two years at the primary school in Cook County working with second graders.

I left retail sales after five years because my heart really wasn’t in it. It was my second choice for a career. My whole life I wanted to be a Veterinarian. So I decided to go back to college and pursue that with my whole heart. I worked hard, made good grades, but had no time for my young son and husband. I was starting to feel a little guilty, when life stepped in and things took a turn. My husband found out he needed major surgery and would need to go through some rehabilitation afterward. So, I left college. Someone had to support our family while he went through rehabilitation. Since I was a Pre-Veterinary Medicine major, I chose to pursue a career in that field. To this day, it has been a very important time in my life. It was a very rewarding job and I can honestly say that there was never a dull moment during the time I was a veterinary technician. My only regret is not working harder to make straight A’s in high school and going straight to college to pursue that career.

It’s that old saying, “If I knew then what I know now, maybe things would have turned out differently.” I’ve learned to accept my life the way it has played out. I know my God has a plan. I’m praying for Him to help me understand His plan and for His will in my life to be done. It’s those twists and unexpected turns that have made my life an adventure. I can’t wait to see what the rest of this year holds!


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Janine Beckner
Dana Janine Beckner is a local girl born in Mississippi but raised in South Georgia. She comes from a military family and believes strongly in her faith and family. A single mom of two sons….one in heaven, Derek Scott, and Joshua Taylor Colon, aged 21 years old. Her children are her life and her heart. She is also mom to six, yes six, furbabies, mostly rescues….the dogs are Gemma, Coco, and Red, the bloodhound. Then there are the kitties….Smokey, Ginger (aka..Sassy), and Milanee, (Mil-lah-nee) which is Hawaiian for “beautiful”) also known as “Spaz”. That’s a story in itself for the future. Currently, she works as a substitute teacher in the Lanier County School System, working with all grade levels, Pre-K through 12th grade. She resides in Lakeland at this time but hopes to come back home to Cook County, where she grew up, in the near future.


  1. Janine Beckner, thank you for your story. I love that you recognize Who is in charge. Nice writing, and editing. Janice Daugharty


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