Caroline receives a letter from an old friend, living in a miner's camp where there's been an outbreak of influenza, who is summoning her for help.
Mr. Edwards has returned to alcohol to soothe the pain of his deceased son, and his wife takes the other children and leaves him. Laura wants Mr. Edwards to be godfather to her baby, but the alcoholism threatens to ruin this as well.moreless
Sam Terhune arrives in Walnut Grove looking for work, and finds favor with all of the townsfolk - except for his ex-wife, Hester Sue.
James and Cassandra's uncle, who wanted nothing to do with the children following their parents' deaths, arrives unexpectedly in Walnut Grove and takes an interest in them. But it turns out he's interested in custody of them as well.moreless
After an acquaintance dies suddenly, Charles is prompted to give up farming in favor of building a legacy on his hand-crafted furniture.
Charles and Almanzo jump at an opportunity to make money taking a delivery to Arizona, although it means being away from home for an extended time. Meanwhile, a pregnant Laura struggles to keep her newly planted orchard alive during a severe drought.moreless
A young boy with a stuttering problem is befriended by James.
Mary, Adam, Hester Sue, and the Wilders all make a special visit to Charles and Caroline's for Christmas Eve. An unrelenting blizzard prevents everyone from heading home after dinner, but they all pass time by recalling Christmases of personal significance in their lives.moreless
Harriet is pressed to transform the Walnut Grove restaurant into a chain called "Mrs. Sullivan's." Meanwhile, Charles is left to gather the slack at home with Caroline so in-demand as one of the cooks.moreless
When Doc Baker's workload becomes too much for one person, he requests a new graduate to help him. He gets more than he expected when the new arrival turns out to be black.moreless
When Laura announces her pregnancy, Caroline believes that she herself is also expecting--until Doc Baker confirms it is menopause.