The Cutler family spent a lot of evenings at home that they called family home evenings, a practice the Mormon church would later recommend to its members. Joseph Jonathan Cutler would read Bible stories to his family out of the big family Bible. He would read and read as long as the children kept prompting him for just one more story, which prolonged their bedtime. Years later, his children recall with fondness and clarity the stories he shared as well as the sound of his resonant voice. He would also lead them in family prayer both in the morning and at night.
The family also spent many nights gathered around their mother Lucy’s pump organ, with everyone having a turn to play. Young Cleo would have to stand on the pedals in order to play, pumping her feet the whole time. After Lucy’s death, the family traded it for a player piano on the advice of a cousin who only knew how to play the piano and didn’t appreciate the value of the organ.
There were also many father and son outings and mother-daughter outings. And, if the family couldn’t think of anything else to do, they would take their beds up to the reservoir and sleep out all night, arguing over who would sleep with their father. They loved to fish, catching mostly suckers. Suckers were not good eating fish because of all the bones, but they ate them all the same.
The Cutler family loved to go to the fairs too. Peach Days in Brigham City, the fair in Tremonton, and carnivals where it only cost a nickel to ride everything. Cleo especially loved the Ferris wheel but hated the merry-go-round because she would inevitably end up sick. They had a lot of fun times. One year, Cleo and Wanda, her sister, planned to go to a Valentine’s Dance. Their brother Doyle’s wife Amanda made dresses for them out of crepe paper and old sheets. Feeling like queens, they went to the dance and had a wonderful time.
Every Sunday and sometimes during the week, the family would make ice cream in the big ice cream freezer from the ice that was packed in sawdust in the ice house at Grandpa Cutler’s place. Sunday nights were also a gathering time for family and friends with singing and talking. There was always plenty to do.