Our family does not communicate much, and when we do, it is by indirection. We inquire about absent brothers. We critique the news. Direct questions would be far too scary.
I told parents that I would build an art project in the basement. Yesterday afternoon, I hauled out cut PVC pipe, an inflatable exercise ball, a purple fabric cover, plastic cones, wires, and lights.
Father saw me laboriously pumping up the exercise ball with a bicycle pump. He retrieved from the garage an electric car-tire inflator. He moved objects aside to give me space and wanted to know more about the purple fabric cover. Mother mowed the rear yard.
I put the octahedron together, hung it from an overhead pipe joist, and stealthily went upstairs. I let my art speak for me. Although my surprised family can not figure out what the octahedron does, yet they appreciate it.
After dinner, I showed my father the electronic guts of the octahedron. Unfortunately, a power line had snapped on the control board. Dad retrieved an old soldering iron and a cast-iron pan to rest it on. Fifty years ago, he printed and sold circuit boards for mass spectrometers. Through soldering tonight, we had made contact.