Something bulky stood in the wagon box, covered by a horse blanket. Laura wondered what it was, but she had no time to look. […] As soon as possible, Pa came hurrying back He lifted the blanket away, and there stood a shining new sewing machine.
“Oh, Charles!” Ma gasped
“Yes, Caroline, it is yours,” Pa said proudly. “there’ll be a lot of extra sewing, with Mary coming home and Laura going away, and I thought you’d need some help.”
“But how could you?” Ma asked, touching the shiny black iron of the machine’s legs.
“I had to sell a cow anyway, Caroline, there wouldn’t be room in the stable next winter unless I did.”
[..]”It is beautiful,” Ma said, “and what a help it will be. I can hardly wait to use it.”
But this was late on Saturday afternoon. The sewing machine must stand still over Sunday.
-Laura Ingalls Wilder, These Happy Golden Years