Thank you for writing this story! I have had Chestnuts on my mind for three reasons:
My parents recently purchased a very old farmhouse to restore, and when they started the demo, they found that the attic floor was made of wide, smooth American chestnut boards!
They also recently planted four blight resistant Chestnut trees that the got from a professor at a nearby college.
And finally, I don’t live near them, but I was walking in a new part of my town and I came across the only mature Chestnut tree I have seen in our area. I found a smooth, perfect Chestnut and put it in my pocket and I have been carrying it there ever since — rubbing it like a worry stone!
We have a few small Chestnut seedlings on our property. I trim the trees around them, but a forester friend told me not to get my hopes up, they will die sooner than later.