A personal meaning is always attached to where a person lives in my opinion. Ann uses the wore "love" as a description of how she feels about her home. Her love surrounds the small things in her home that focus on the way things function and it's purpose. The appliances that she named is; the hot water heater, the plastic rack for draining dishes, and the roof over her head that leaked on occasions. They are all a combination of things that provide her and her family with security and a comfort of a home. Quindlen named the appliances because they were important to her. Quindlen used the word "love" because, it described a safe home where she lived with her family.
As the story went on she talked about how some children who never had a room doesn't understand what go in their room mean. She also gave a vivid description of appears to be homeless (no place to call home)people. They had a certain odor, look, and behavior. Quindlen often walked pass people lying on the sidewalk, sitting on benches or sitting in a bus terminal which was a problem for her. She didn't consider them homeless she just thought that they were mentally ill, or have been locked out from somewhere. Quindlens perception of a home is some place you feel safe and secure.