A cowboy Betty met on a dude range over the summer is stopping in Springfield on his way to Chicago. "Utah" is everything Betty dreamed about, but can her love last when he lives a different life? A Flashback is used to show how they met.
Jim & Margaret take Betty to see the State University for when she enrolls in college. They have been saving money for this day since Betty was born. Betty announces she wants to stay in town and go to the junior college with her friends.
Bud's friend has a cousin coming to town. Marissa is older than Bud, but he wants to go out with her. He pretends to be older so he seems more sophisticated. When Marissa wants to go to a fancy restaurant, Bud does not have enough money.
After several test runs with his pigeon, Bud sends him on a 500 mile trip and waits for him to return home. Meanwhile, Betty announces she is moving into an apartment with her friends. Will Betty and the pigeon both return home?
Margaret wins a raffle: free spaghetti dinner once a week for a year. Also, Jim's friend Harper visits. Harper never finished high school, determined to start enjoying the good life. He has interesting stories to tell but never had success.
Bud feels he is being underpaid in his allowance, and he has to work to earn it. Jim decides to teach him a lesson by giving him $10 a week and the stipulation he has to only use it on himself. Bud finds having money does not buy friends.
Jim & Margaret plan to go to the PTA costume party. When they argue with the children to dress better, they decide to wear the clothes kids wear now-days, and their children wear the clothes of Jim & Margaret's youth stored in the attic.
Jim is hesitant to let Betty go to New York alone, but Margaret convinces him to let her go. Betty goes to NY to help her friend on her wedding day. Imagine their surprise when a picture of Betty and the best man show up in the newspaper.
At college, Betty is enjoying the social life and is going steady with a casual acquaintance. Bud works on the school paper and brings home Mr. Beekman, the paper's adviser. Mr. Beekman tells Betty there is more to life than parties.
Jim meets Aldus Lydum while visiting his friend, and thinks this might lead to a new insurance client. He invites Jim & Betty to visit he and his wife that night. Mr Lydum acts as if everyone is a long-standing friend.
Kathy is certain that the Andersons' Christmas Eve will be ruined by the visit of spinsterish Aunt Neva, but she learns a valuable lesson when she stops pouting long enough to listen to a Christmas story told by an elderly repairman.
Margaret gets tired of all the housework and demands of the children, expecting her to do their every whim. She decides to take a day off and go into town. She browses the stores and has her picture drawn by a street artist.
Bud wants to have a lawn party at the Anderson's home the next day. Bud expects Jim & Margaret to do the work, without the teens even helping, they tell Bud he cannot have the party. Jim & Margaret leave for the day, and Bud has it anyway.
Bud buys a shortwave radio and, while showing it off to the family, hears a distress call. A family had become caught in a tropical storm while offshore in their cabin cruiser, and the father was unable to transmit his desperate call for help to the Coast Guard ... leaving the Andersons as possibly the family's only hope.
A jet pilot encounters problems when flying over Springfield and loses his helmet. Bud finds the helmet and the family decides to find the pilot and return it. Betty and the pilot start dating; Betty learns he is being transferred to Alaska
Bud & Kippy want to travel for new experiences and write exciting stories. They want to go to Hillsborough by themselves and stay overnight in town. Jim & Margaret agree since both boys will be there. Skippy backs out at the last minute.
Cornel Wilde has a car accident while traveling through Springfield. The person who hit his car just happens to be a client of Jim Anderson. Due to a mix up with Jim's secretary, Cornel Wilde shows up at the Anderson home. While waiting for Jim to arrive home, the rest of the family falls all over Cornel. Margaret invites him to stay to dinner and he agrees much to the excitement of all the Andersons! When Jim returns home he discovers that the gentleman that hit Cornel Wilde's car has decided to make a 'killing' by embellishing the events and getting a big pay day ...
Bud donates money towards a fund for a sick classmate in Sunday School. Kippy takes credit for that donation and Bud is upset. Knowing he should not brag of his good deed, Bud tries to find another way to get credit and have Kippy confess.
Betty accepts a date for the same night she has a baby-sitting job. Margaret and Jim say they will babysit so she can go on the date. When the baby arrives, Margaret and Jim enjoy having an infant in the house again. Kathy gets jealous.
A former college classmate of Jim and Margaret's shows up at the Anderson house - as a salesman. Henry had been voted Man Most Likely to Succeed in college, and had plans to be a doctor. He is not a doctor, and he is not a good salesman.
Margaret decides to sell the old baby crib. A couple who is expecting their first child shows up to buy it. They are young as well as being nervous about being parents. It does not help that the Andersons are having a bad parenting day.
The Andersons visit Margaret's family. Her father feels his health is failing and he needs to sell his business to retire. Jim helps him close up the father's print shop. The father is stubborn about every aspect, and Jim finds out why.
Margaret hires a man named Sageman to chop wood for their fireplace. He only wants to be paid in meals. An honest day's work for an honest meal. Sageman quietly shares his views of life with the Anderson's and inspires them all.