"Green Acres is the place to be. Farm living is the life for me. Land spreading out so far and wide - keep Manhattan, just give me that countryside!"
Lyrics used in the theme song for the 1960s television show Green Acres could also apply to a special Lebanon lady, Delaine Freeman Smith.
Like a modern day "Mrs. Douglas," Smith is early to rise. A typical day in her life is a mix of tending to her slew of farm animals, lunching with her father, marketing for their business Freeman Foals, checking on her grown children and grandchildren - and somehow finding time to throw on her namesake piece of Music City Bling "Delaine's Kiss of Fire," designed by close friend and fellow horse enthusiast Tina Brady, and work the social circuit.
Smith was born in Camp Lejune, North Carolina to parents John and Betty Bradford Freeman while he was stationed there as a marine. The family returned to her father's native Wilson County when Smith was just 2-years-old.
"I went to school at Friendship Christian, where I was in the second graduating class in 1978. I was in the top 12 of my class," she said, before joking. "Not really impressive. There were only 12 of us and I was probably number 12. Friendship was very small back then."
Smith attended Middle Tennessee State University and Cumberland University, but her heart always belonged in the world of horses. Her mother was the breeder of World Grand Champion Tennessee Walking Horse "Generator's Santana."
"It is in my blood," she said. "My mother established Freeman Foals in 1976. Her father raised horses too and I got my first pony when I was 3."
Smith said that her mother and father were a team in the venture - and that she stepped up to help when her mom passed away in 2007. "My mother called him CEO of manure management because he cleans the stalls and does the feeding and fence maintenance. Now I take care of the breeding and the marketing."
She is normally a regular at shows such as the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration coming up in Shelbyville, Tennessee this August; however, doesn't plan to participate this year because she has been so busy supporting her husband, Chancellor C.K. Smith.
"He is like trying to follow the Energizer Bunny. I literally cannot keep up with him and all the places he goes before court and after court to meet folks and shake hands," she said. "On days that we are invited to several different things at the same time, I go to one event and he will go to another ... I am having a lot of fun meeting all the people in the district."
She and C.K. have been married for the past 11 years and together for a total of 13. Their family includes her children, Justin Davis, Winston (Caroline) Davis and McClain (Andy) Cannon and his children, C.K. Smith, Jr., Justin Smith and Courtney Smith - and grandchildren, Carter Cannon and Anna Grace Davis.
"Our first date was the Senior Citizens Center for their annual Valentine's Day Dinner. We have attended every year since," Smith shared.
However, Smith's most romantic Valentine's Day was when her husband gave her four goats. "It was the most romantic gift I've ever gotten," she said, adding that their farm animals also include dogs, chickens and pigs.
"The pigs my children started raising have become my new entertainment. They are hilarious and so smart. This spring I took a piglet, put a pearl bracelet on its neck and went to WANT 98.9FM to surprise the Private Lives of Nashville Wives cast members who were there being interviewed by MJ Lucas," she said. "You just never know what animal adventure I am going to be doing from day to day."
Smith named many women who she admires, such as Carol Locke, Cindy Reavis, Hattie Bryant, Faye Agee, Donna Evins, Beth Putman, Helene Cash, Melinda Ledford, Kayla Freeman, Pamela Garrett and Denise Moore - but said that her mother, Betty, and daughter, McClain, are the ladies who have influenced her the most.
"The main things I've learned as I have gotten older is to just be myself no matter what others may think. In fact, my hair is gray today because I finally quit listening to everyone telling me I had to keep coloring it. I've learned to be comfortable with what God gave me - wrinkles, gray hairs and all."