Charles Ingalls and Jonathan Garvey are trying to win a contract for a freight operation. So, it means they will be making good money but they will be on the road for usually two weeks at a time, and usually with only an overnight layover. Caroline feels that this new job is her rival. Jimmy Hill is Laura's friend. They go fishing together and Laura almost falls in the creek, and Jimmy catches her, and for the first time, we see Laura liking a boy because she is a girl. The next day, Laura decides to wear her hair down because it makes her look more grown up and she ...
On Rev. Alden's recommendation, Mary is hired as a teacher in a small backwoods community called Willow Run. There, she is met with pure hatred from its town leader, Miss Peel, an elderly woman who is fiercely opposed to the school. Miss Peel's determination to drive Mary from town proves to be a severe test to the Ingalls girl's resolve and character.
Traveling Charles Ingalls struggles with a broken wagon wheel and bad weather trying to get home in time to celebrate his wedding anniversary while, back in Plum Creek, waiting wife Caroline tries to keep worry at bay by entertaining their daughters with the tale of another time she was kept waiting and how she and their father first met.
After finding a number of bottles containing messages, including a photograph, from a mysterious girl, Laura finds an abandoned baby. Laura takes the child in and cares for it like it was her own, not knowing it belongs to a timid young woman with an abusive father.
In this episode, Charles receives word of an inheritance from an eccentric uncle. Soon, the whole town is abuzz, eagerly helping the initially reluctant Ingalls family spend the promised money. As the debt rises, so does Charles' discomfiture...until the consequences of the blessing make it feel more like a curse.
Long hours studying by candlelight for the state teacher's exam results in tired, blurry eyes for Mary Ingalls, prompting a routine visit to the eye doctor; but when Charles is told that Mary's worsening sight is just the beginning of a much more serious problem, the concerned father can't bring himself to tell his beloved daughter that she will, most certainly, soon be completely blind.
Feeling lost and abandoned, Mary Ingalls battles anger and self-pity at a school for the blind, far away from the little house by Plum Creek. But soon, Mary finds a source of hope in her new teacher, Adam Kendall, and as the two young people work together they find they have much in common. Meanwhile, back in Walnut Grove, many are forced to consider the real possibility of having to start a new life elsewhere as the town's economy erodes and work becomes scarce.
Poor financial conditions influence the Ingalls family to move to Winoka when Mary goes there to teach at the Blind School. They meet Albert, an orphan who Charles forms an attachment to, even though Laura catches him stealing from the hotel that Charles was managing and Caroline was running the kitchen/dining room for.
While Mary is going to teach at the Blind School in Winoka, and since financially they can't make a living in Walnut Grove the rest of the Ingalls family goes to Winoka, too. Charles gets a job managing a hotel and Caroline runs the Kitchen/Dining room. They make the acquaintance of an orphan, Albert who befriends the Ingalls.
Trying to convince Tom Carlin, blinded by a childhood bout with the measles, that he can lead a productive life, Adam Kendall battles Tom's bitter, skeptical father and is unexpectedly aided by the underdog Winoka Warriors, who have just lost their star player to a rival football team.
Amelia Bevins is a new girl at school. Laura asks her to go home with her the afternoon of her first day at school to work on their essays and they go by the Blind School on the way home. When they get there, Laura and Albert and Andy start making fun of the over-weight man who has started working there. Amelia makes an excuse and runs off. Unbeknownst to them, it's her father. Before they leave, Adam comes out and introduces Mr. Bevins and Laura realizes her mistake. That evening when Mr. Bevins goes home, he overhears his daughter telling his wife how her father ...
Caroline talks to Mary and Mary convinces Charles that he should not have to stay in Winoka if he is unhappy. So, the Ingalls decide they are going back to Walnut Grove. They invite Albert to go back with them. The children at the blind school give them a horseshoe to hang over their door and sing them home with the song about a horseshoe over the door. The Garveys and the Olsens go home, too.
The Ingalls, Garveys, Olsens, and Albert get back to Walnut Grove to find it run down and in shabby condition. Lars Hansen found Walnut Grove over 50 years ago, and now that it is in this poor condition, and he suffered a stroke, he is much like the town--on its last leg. The Ingalls and the Garveys go to the farms around town to let everyone know of their plans to fix the town up to restore it to its former glory.
Laura Ingalls becomes jealous of the extra attention her father pays to new family member, Albert, especially after the boy is given a new calf to raise for the county fair, and asked to call Charles "Pa".
Sterling Murdoch arrives in Walnut Grove planning to found a newspaper. The fledgling newspaper is The Pen and the Plow, and its star reporter is none other than one Harriet Olesen. At first, everyone including the Ingalls welcome the newspaper, but the completely inaccurate content of the "Harriet's Happenings" column soon has some people losing their enthusiasm. Nels reminds his wife that a reporter's job is to be accurate, but Mrs. Olesen suggests she's merely "reporting the fact that they are rumors"; he is even more frustrated when she suggests holding an ...
While their fathers secretly trail them, young Albert Ingalls and Andy Garvey set off to prove their mettle as men by accepting a challenge to live by their wits during a week-long, overland walk from Walnut Grove to Sleepy Eye and back.
Andy is doing poorly in school to the embarrassment of his mother who is the current teacher. Mrs. Garvey hires Nellie Olesen to tutor Andy. Nellie shows Andy how she has been cheating and threatens him to do the same and not tell.
Mr. Standish buys the building that the Blind school has been housed in and wants to turn it into a hotel. He gives the blind school 30 days to move. Adam and Mary send a letter to Charles telling them to alert them if they hear of an available place. Rev. Alden tells Charles that when he died, Lars Hansen left the deed to a big house in his care. It's too big to sell to one family so he hasn't been able to unload it, but it's perfectly big enough for a blind school. The church votes to clean it up and get it ready for the blind school to take it over. The Winoka ...
Joe Kagen joins Charles and goes to Winoka because they're going to have an extra wagon to bring home. They get to the blind school and see the awful team of horses and the wagon that Mr. Standish tricked Adam into buying even though his contract clearly stated that he would have the best team in the stable. Charles takes the horses into the saloon and convinces Mr. Standish that those aren't his best team and wagon. Then, Charles is surprised in Winoka to find out that Harriet has joined them for the trip home. On the trip, Harriet says she prefers to walk instead of...
Charles has the opportunity to earn $50 by helping run new telephone lines for 30 days. While he's away, Laura and Albert's time is used up with doing extra chores. Caroline is also busy and doesn't have time to deal with Carrie, so she is sent off on her own with some trivial job to do. She goes to pick some strawberries, but when she sees how little they are, she figures it will take her all day to pick enough for a pie. She falls asleep and dreams that a beautiful girl who looks just like her, named Elissa, takes her to a world where there are strawberries as big ...